The '3Rs' - Replacement, Reduction and Refinement

The University of Liverpool is fully committed to research designed to reduce, refine and replace animals used for scientific purposes, this is normally referred to as the '3Rs'. The 3Rs have become embedded in national and international legislation regulating the use of animals in scientific procedures.

The 3Rs are:

  • Replacement: We are actively involved in the search for new technologies that help us to avoid the use of animals in research.
  • Reduction: We employ methods that minimise the number of animals used in experiments.
  • Refinement: We use methods that minimise suffering and improve animal welfare.

The 3Rs are increasingly seen as a framework for conducting high quality science in the academic and industrial sectors with more focus on developing alternative approaches which avoid the use of animals.

We actively encourage our staff to engage with the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), which aims to develop scientifically robust, non-animal alternatives and, where animal use continues to be necessary, works to reduce the number of animals involved and improve welfare practices.