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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Harmonising the definition of refinement
Authors: Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M
Rennie, Anita
Vitale, Augusto
Pollo, Simone
Prescott, Mark J
Morton, David B
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Keywords: animal welfare
housing and husbandry
laboratory animals
scientific procedures
Three Rs
Issue Date: Nov-2005
Publisher: Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
Citation: Buchanan-Smith HM, Rennie A, Vitale A, Pollo S, Prescott MJ & Morton DB (2005) Harmonising the definition of refinement, Animal Welfare, 14 (4), pp. 379-384.
Abstract: Russell and Burch's Three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) remain the cornerstone for principles guiding humane experimental research. However, the concept of refinement has evolved considerably since its first inception and there have been numerous interpretations, some of which are regressive from the original definition. In this paper we examine the interpretations of refinement, and propose a harmonised progressive definition that is in line with changes in animal ethics and animal welfare science. Our definition should be applied to all aspects of refinement: those related to housing, husbandry and care, techniques used in scientific procedures, periprocedural care, health and welfare monitoring, and experimental design. We argue not only that the concept should include the avoidance or minimisation of adverse effects experienced at any time during the life of an animal destined for use in a laboratory, but also that it should be applied to the founder animals. Furthermore, we take a proactive stance and argue that refinement should include enhancing well-being through environmental enrichment. The acceptance and application of this new definition by legislative authorities and in guidelines would represent a significant step forward for animal welfare.
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Publisher allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Animal Welfare, volume 14, number 4, November 2005, pp. 379-384, by Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. The published article is available at
Affiliation: Psychology
University of Stirling
Istituto Superiore di Sanita
Istituto Superiore di Sanita
National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R's)
University of Birmingham

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