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The principle of the 3Rs for humane animal research

The two researchers William Russell and Rex Burch introduced the principle of the 3Rs in 1957 and two years later they published the book The principles of human experimental technique. Russell and Burch proposed that researchers should constantly strive to use as few animals as possible and at the same time reduce suffering and improve animal welfare during experiments.

Today, the 3Rs principle is embodied into both Swedish and European legislation for using animals in research. The EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (2010/63/EU) is incorporated into Swedish legislation. This means that everyone who uses animals for scientific purposes shall implement the principles of the 3Rs in their work.

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