Three Rs and Five Freedoms

The Three Rs tenet (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) guides scientists on the ethical use of animals in science.

  • Replacement refers to methods which avoid or replace the use of animals in an area where animals would otherwise have been used
  • Reduction refers to any strategy that will result in fewer animals being used
  • Refinement refers to the modification of husbandry or experimental procedures to minimize pain and distress

The Five Freedoms Are:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst (by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour).
  2. Freedom from discomfort (by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area).
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease (by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment).
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour (by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind).
  5. Freedom from fear and distress (by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering).

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