Despite the development of powerful molecular biological techniques and technologies, studies involving research animals remain a key component of discovery biology, and in the discovery and development of new medicines. In 1959, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) were developed to provide a framework to ensure animal research was undertaken as humanely as possible. Sixty years since their inception, the extent to which the 3Rs have been adopted and implemented by the global scientific and medical research communities has unfortunately been slow and patchy. However, this situation is changing rapidly as awareness increases, not only of the 3Rs themselves, but of the impact of animal welfare on the reproducibility, reliability and translatability of data from animal studies.

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