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Alternatives to
research using animals

The principle of the 3Rs (Replace, Reduce, Refine) was introduced in 1959 and establishes the accepted standards for research with animals. 


The 3Rs are part of the everyday practice of the European biomedical sector and are an integral part of both national and international laws that regulate the use of animals in scientific procedures. 

The 3Rs are:


Methods that prevent or help replace the use of animals



Methods that help reduce the number of animals used in experiments



Methods that help minimise any pain or distress and improve animal welfare. 

For further information please go to:


The European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing


Norecopa interactive 3Rs map in Europe

For more information about the 3Rs around Europe, please visit:
  • Public organisations
    EPV (European Primate Veterinarians) FENS (Federation of European Neurosciences Societies) Hellenic Society for Neuroscience Max Planck Society NOVA Medical School Donders Institute, Radboud University SGV (Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association) SECAL (Spanish Society for Laboratory Animal Sciences)
  • Private Organisations
    AAALAC AnimalhealthEurope Charles River Labcorp Merck GSK Inotiv Marshall Bioresources
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