In its response to the Home Office consultation on options for the transposition of European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, the Council has called for the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) to be further promoted in UK research.
The Council said the consultation was a welcome opportunity to consider how the legal protection of animals used in scientific procedures can be improved.
In its 2005 report, ‘The ethics of research involving animals’, the Council concluded that there is a moral imperative to develop scientifically rigorous and validated alternative methods for areas of research for which Replacements do not currently exist, as well as to devise mechanisms that help to implement available validated methods.
Noting recent progress in promoting the 3Rs in UK research since the establishment of the National Centre for the 3R’s, the Council has now urged the Government to consider further measures in relation to the provision of alternative approaches, such as analysis of the scientific barriers to replacement and setting targets for reduction of animal research.
The consultation response draws out recommendations made by the Council in the following areas:
- project evaluation
- animal welfare body
- avoidance of duplication procedures
- classification of severity of procedures
- retrospective assessment
Find out more about our work on the ethics of research involving animals.