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REFINEMENT: INDEX

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We owe much to laboratory animals, and that debt can best be repaid by good treatment and keeping painful experiments to a minimum.
 
—former U.S. Senator Bob Dole*

REFINEMENT
Minimizing Pain and Distress for Laboratory Animals

Refinement is the third of the "Three R's" of alternatives, first formulated by British researchers William Russell and Rex Burch in their classic 1959 book, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique. They defined refinement as follows: "any decrease in the incidence or severity of inhumane procedures applied to those animals which still have to be used." In recent years, we have come to speak of refinement more in terms of techniques that minimize any pain or distress the animals may experience.

Refinement covers anything that serves to reduce the animals' pain and distress or to enhance their well-being. These alternatives may come in a great variety of forms. Giving an animal appropriate medication for pain is a prime example. Techniques that are less invasive to the animal also may constitute refinement. For example, researchers can use such modern medical technologies as ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to look at what is happening inside an animal without cutting into it. Refinement also includes giving animals bigger cages, offering them appropriate toys to play with, and allowing them to have companions of their own kind (if that is a natural condition for the species).

This refinement section follows a format similar to that of the Altweb special section on monoclonal antibodies, or MABs, with introductory text explaining the topic in non-technical language, accompanied by a set of links to relevant databases, web sites, books, articles, abstracts, and so on. The section addresses the following topics:

This refinement section was developed for Altweb by Dr. Roberta Friedman, in cooperation with CAAT's communications coordinator. Dr. Friedman holds a doctorate in pharmacology and has more than 20 years experience as a science writer.

We plan to continue developing and expanding this section. If you have any additions or corrections to offer, please e-mail choward@jhsph.edu.

* Senator Dole helped bring about the 1985 amendment to the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, which added many features aimed at reducing pain and distress for laboratory animals.


General Readings and Resources on Refinement

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MeetingS

 
FRAME Training School in Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis
May 31-June 2, 2017
Saskatoon, Canada

Advances in Cell and Tissue Culture 2017
May 22-24, 2017
Manchester, UK

CAAT Academy
In Vitro Skin and Eye Models Hands-on Training
June 1-2 2017
Brussels, Belgium

CAAT Academy
Tools for Read-Across
June 15-16, 2017
Helsinki, Finland

ecopa SSCT Workshop 2017
June 14-16, 2017
Helsinki, Finland
Thomas Hartung will deliver a keynote address

CAAT Academy
Updates on Hepatotoxicity AOP Landscape and on the ADME Field - Season 2
June 22-23, 2017
Rennes, France

9th Euro-Global Summit on Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
June 22-24, 2017
Paris, France
Email for Details

6th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT)
September 21-22
College Park, MD

SAVE THE DATE:
10th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences
August 20-24, 2017
Seattle, Washington

CAAT Academy
Hands-on Training in Quantitative Human Cell and Effect-based In Vitro Bioanalysis for Assessing Endocrine-disrupting Compounds (EDCs)
September 7-8. 2017
Amsterdam
 

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