It is the responsibility of everyone who uses animals to ensure that they are only used when absolutely necessary and that when they are used they are treated with care and respect. If an animal is used for research, testing or teaching the work must be conducted in line with the Three Rs (from the ideas of Russell and Burch in their 1959 book “The principles of humane experimental technique”, available through the Johns Hopkins Alt Web website):
Reduction: the minimum number of animals must be used to gain good experimental results. This means that experiments must be well designed and that as many experimental variables as possible are controlled (i.e. that you only change one thing in your experimental group as compared to your control group). This means that the research or test will provide quality data which can withstand statistical analysis.
Refinement: the animals should not suffer. At all times the health and wellbeing of the animal should be a priority. As much as possible the animal should be able to live normally, free from any pain and suffering, throughout the research, teaching or testing process.
Resource links on the use of animals in research, testing or teaching for Schools
The following resources are available on the use of animals in research, testing or teaching:
- Using animals in science website (ANZCCART resource)
- Animal Research Saves Lives (ANZCCART resource) (PDF, 1.8 MB, 14 pages)
- Download Three Rs poster (ANZCCART resource) (PDF, 6.7 MB, 1 page)
- Animal welfare in NZ (Ministry for Primary Industries)
- National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) website
- National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) website
- Alt web (resource database hosted by Johns Hopkins University)
- RNZSPCA website
- Animal ethics resources on TKI website
- DEMOCS discussion game (from EdinEthics, UK website)