Animals used for scientific procedures are a moral dilemma in society and science, especially involving ethical considerations. Unfortunately, in many research areas animal experiments are conducted because no alternatives are available (yet). But the use of animals always requires justification and researchers and other parties must weigh the interests of society (i.e. treatment for a disease) compared to the interests of the animal (i.e. not to be used in a painful experiment). It is the responsibility of the researcher to handle the animals carefully and to develop animal-free methods or to use these methods when available to answer the research question.
The 3Rs-Centre ULS stimulates the development, acceptance and implementation of 3Rs methods (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal experiments), by advising and giving information to researchers. Public is informed about animal experiments, the 3Rs and the latest developments in this field. The centre also participates in the course Laboratory Animal Science and relevant master programs, aimed for anyone interested in setting up animal experiments.
The 3Rs-Centre ULS has initiated the 3Rs Database Programme.