van Zutphenl B, van der Valk J. Education and training: a basis for the introduction of the three Rs alternatives into animal research. ATLA. 1995,23:123-127


Education is a highly effective way of promoting the introduction of alternatives into the everyday practice of biomedical research and testing. In some countries, specific requirements for the education of persons involved in animal experimentation have been made compulsory by law. In The Netherlands, young scientists must take a course on laboratory animal science as part of, or in addition to, their biomedical graduate programme. This course provides information on the proper design of animal experiments, but also covers alternatives, animal welfare issues and ethical aspects of animal experimentation. The Three Rs of Russell & Burch are the guiding principles of the course, during which participants are challenged to seek methods or techniques that can replace, reduce or refine the use of animals. Since 1985, more than 2500 people in The Netherlands have taken the course, and evaluations have indicated that a large majority of the participants appreciated this education as a contribution to both the quality of experiments and the welfare of the animals, and considered the course to be indispensable for those who are responsible for the design and performance of animal experiments.

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