Russell and Burch stated, “We assume that experimental biologists are only too happy to treat their animals as humanely as possible.” They further stated, “The central problem then is that of determining what is and what is not humane, and how humanity can be promoted without prejudice to scientific and medical aims. We must begin by examining the concept of humanity (or inhumanity) as an objective assessment of the effects of any procedure on the animal subject.”

Though it took nearly 30 years for Russell and Burch’s work to receive the attention it deserved, the 3Rs are now being practiced in laboratories throughout the world and have been incorporated in animal care legislation in the United States and the European Union.

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