Chapter 1. Looking Back 33 Years to Russell and Burch: The Development of the Concept of the Three Rs (Alternatives)

  1. Dr. Christoph A Reinhardt
  1. Andrew N. Rowan

Published Online: 8 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9783527616053.ch1

Alternatives to Animal Testing: New Ways in the Biomedical Sciences, Trends and Progress, Second Edition

Alternatives to Animal Testing: New Ways in the Biomedical Sciences, Trends and Progress, Second Edition

How to Cite

Rowan, A. N. (1994) Looking Back 33 Years to Russell and Burch: The Development of the Concept of the Three Rs (Alternatives), in Alternatives to Animal Testing: New Ways in the Biomedical Sciences, Trends and Progress, Second Edition (ed C. A. Reinhardt), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527616053.ch1

Editor Information

  1. SIAT Swiss Institute for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Technopark, Pfingstweidstr. 30, CH-8005 Zürich

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 24 FEB 1994

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527300433

Online ISBN: 9783527616053

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Keywords:

  • concept of alternatives;
  • humane Technique;
  • recorded development;
  • several factors;
  • toxicity testing

Summary

The history of the alternatives concept, starting with the contribution by Russell and Burch, is outlined. Russell (a zoologist) and Burch (a microbiologist) were given the task of analyzing the ethical aspects of experimental techniques using animals by the British organization, the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, in 1954. In 1959, they published a book which enunciated the principles of Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement (now known as the Three Rs or alternatives). Initially, their book was largely ignored but their ideas were gradually picked up by the animal protection community in the sixties and early seventies. In the eighties, spurred on by public pressure, the European biomedical research organizations and industry in Europe and America embraced the idea of alternatives. Concurrently, the demand for animals in research fell by up to 50%. Refinement, the often overlooked third R, is now also receiving much more attention.