About the 3Rs Centre

Mission statement

The mission of the 3Rs Centre is to stimulate the development, acceptance and implementation of methods that can Replace, Reduce and Refine (the 3Rs) animal experiments. In that order.

We teach about best practices, culture of care and the 3Rs in various courses and summer schools, collaborate closely with the TPI program (Transition Program towards animal-free Innovation) of the Dutch government, and organise thematic seminars ourselves.


The centre is part of the Animal Welfare Body Utrecht, a body of Utrecht University and the University Medical Center Utrecht, that supervises the welfare of laboratory animals and the quality of animal experiments in research and education.

In addition, there is a strong affiliation with the Department Population Health Sciences of the faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. This department focuses on issues pertaining to animal welfare and human animal interactions, in the broadest sense, and informs scientists as well as the public about these issues.

Advice, tools and communication

We take on a 3Rs advisory role in contexts ranging from the international level (in the Scientific Advisory Board of EURL ECVAM, in the EU-IMPROVE consortium, and in the European 3Rs Centres) to the local level (by advising within the Animal Welfare Body Utrecht and by advising individual researchers). Our website is a central hub for the 3Rs and hosts useful tools and databases on humane endpoints and alternatives to the use of fetal calf serum in cell cultures. We also communicate on recent 3Rs development via our website and social media: Linkedin and Twitter.