Every year the annual home office statistics on animal research report a steady increase in the number of animals used. Yet the scientific community insists it is committed to delivering the 3Rs and pays homage to the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) for leading the way. But is this not a contradiction in terms? Is the UK really making strides in the 3Rs or just paying lip service to them? What is the science behind the 3Rs and what gains have been made?
Joining Vicky Robinson on the panel were three of the scientists who receive funding and guidance from the NC3Rs. Their work includes growing cells in 3D clusters for research on brain tumours, isolating cells as a model for spinal cord injury and research into better laboratory animal welfare and handling.
Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive, NC3Rs
Dr Sue Eccles, Professor in Tumour Biology, Institute of Cancer Research
Dr Sue Barnett, Professor of Cellular Neuroscience, University of Glasgow
Prof Paul Flecknell, Comparative Biology Centre, Newcastle University