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Sarvesh Singh, Pratap Shankar*, Dheeraj Kumar Singh, Amod Kumar Sachan and Rakesh Kumar Dixit


The use of animals in experimental research parallels the development of medicine, which had its roots in ancient Greece (Aristotle, Hippocrate). The increased interest in and concern about animal welfare issues led to legislative regulations in many countries and the establishment of animal ethics committees. The major areas are drug research, testing of vaccines and other biological and cancer research, whereas about 30% of the animals are used for other purposes such as fundamental research, diagnostics. The increasing demand for high standard animal models together with a critical view on the use of animals led to the development of Laboratory Animal Science in the 1950s with Russell and Burch’s three R’s of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement as guiding principles, a field that can be defined as a multidisciplinary branch of science, contributing to the quality of animal experiments and to the welfare of laboratory animals. In vitro methods are usually more accurate, easier to perform, and cheaper, such in vitro methods are usually not alternatives in the sense that they substitute for animals; they complement experiments on animals. A legal requirement "that no experiment on a living animal may be performed if the purpose of the experiment can be achieved by alternative means not involving an experiment on a living animal" would be unenforceable. The current trends in 3Rs research are illustrated by the recent successes, however, a real breakthrough in terms of 3Rs depends on the acceptance of a new strategy in the medical research, the consistency approach.

Keywords: Aristotle, Hippocrate, establishment of animal ethics committees.

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