IACUC, Animal Welfare, Literature Reviews: Specialized 3R/Alternative

Find information to help search for alternatives (aka the "3Rs") mandated by the Animal Welfare Act and required for IACUC protocols (Breeding, section 6; Research, section 7; Instruction, section 2g) for Virginia Tech. Use the tabs below to jump to any s

Librarian Liaison to the IACUC

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Kiri DeBose
Vet Med Library
245 Duck Pond Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Databases specific to alternatives

While several websites exist, the following are good places to start:

  • ALTBIB: Resources for Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrates in Biomedical Research and Testing
    • Produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) this portal "provides access to PubMed®/MEDLINE® citations relevant to alternatives to the use of live vertebrates in biomedical research and testing."
  • AltWeb Pain Management Database
  • FRAME: Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiment
    • This organization "is dedicated to the development of new and valid methods that will replace the need for laboratory animals in medical and scientific research, education, and testing. Where the use of animals is currently necessary, FRAME supports the reduction of numbers involved to an unavoidable minimum and refinement of experimental procedures to minimise any suffering caused."
      • Publishes "ATLA" (need to create a free account to search)
        • This resource is intended to cover all aspects of the development, validation, introduction and use of alternatives to laboratory animals in biomedical research and testing.
      • Provides the discussion forum "PiLAS"
        • Perspectives in Laboratory Animal Science was "set up in 2012 to provide a discussion forum, originally for students of veterinary science. Since then it has expanded to cover all aspects of laboratory animal science."
  • NORINA (A Norwegian Inventory of Alternatives)
    • This is "an English-language database containing information on over 3,500 audiovisual aids that may be used as alternatives or supplements to the use of animals in education and training, including dissection alternatives, at all levels from Junior School to University.  The information in the database has been collected from 1991 onwards."
  • Refinement and Enrichment for All Laboratory Animals Database
    • Produced by the Animal Welfare Institute, "these two databases were created in August 2000 and are updated frequently."  They "disseminate information on all aspects of species-appropriate housing and species-appropriate handling of animals in research laboratories."

The "3Rs" for Alternatives

REDUCE: minimize how many animals are used.

REFINE: use techniques/procedures that minimize distress and pain to animals.

REPLACE: substitute animal models with non-animal techniques or lower organisms.

Adapted from: Russel, WMS and RL Burch (1959). The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique. Universities Federation of Animal Welfare: England, 238p.

More info:
National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research