The 3 Rs

The 3 R’s: Reduce, Replace and Refine

The scientific community has embraced the “3 R’s” philosophy toward the use of animal in research since the 1959 publication of “The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique” by W. Russell and R. Burch:


A decrease in the number of animals used while enhancing the quality of information.


Scientifically valid substitutions for current live animal methodologies.


Improvement that minimizes the pain, suffering and stress of animals used in research.

Canadian universities that conduct animal-based research are required to establish detailed protocols and follow strict regulations to ensure the animals’ welfare. Increasingly, universities and other research facilities are making more use of computer simulations and reducing their use of animals.