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Government sets out plans to advance the use of the 3Rs

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THE use of animals in scientific research remains a vital tool in improving understanding of how biological systems work in both health and disease, and enabling properly regulated use of animals is essential to improving the health and lives of people and animals, and the safety and sustainability of the environment.

So says the Government in a ‘delivery plan’, which explains how it will advance the use of the 3Rs – reduction, replacement, refinement – within the UK, influence their uptake and adoption globally, and promote an understanding and awareness of the use of animals where no alternatives exist.

The delivery plan, which was published on February 7, has been developed in collaboration by the Home Office's Animals in Science Regulation Unit, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Government Office for Science. It forms part of a commitment made by the Coalition Government in 2010 to reduce the use of animals in scientific research. ‘This commitment is not focused on baseline numbers which are influenced by a range of extraneous factors,’ the plan says: ‘Instead, it encompasses replacement, reduction and refinement (the 3Rs) more broadly, putting them at …

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