Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrate Animals
To minimize the use of animals in research, UW-Madison is committed to "the Three R's"
- Reduction--using the least number of animals necessary for statistically valid scientific results
- Replacement--using non-animal alternatives (e.g., cell culture) or choosing a species lower on the phylogenetic tree (e.g.., mice instead of monkeys)
- Refinement--choosing methods and experimental procedures that minimize pain and distress in research animals (e.g., using laparoscopic techniques rather than laparotomy; defining endpoints as early in a disease process as possible)
Investigators must consider alternatives to animal use (mandated by the AWA) and be prepared to address this in their protocols.
Resources for alternative/refined experimental methods:
- A Guide to Locating Animal Research Alternatives and Animal Care Resources
- databases besides Medline (e.g., Agricola), and don't forget to actually include "alternatives" in keyword searches
- Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC)
- AltWeb--Alternatives to Animal Testing on the Web
- Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC)