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Know the Laws
U.S. laws require that alternatives must be considered before using animals
for research and testing
Both the Animal Welfare Act and the USDA require submission of documentation that shows whether or not alternatives have been considered of proposed research or teaching that may cause pain or distress to animals. The IACUC (Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee) of each institution must review protocols and documentation provided by the lead investigator that shows that they have followed the law and have considered appropriate alternatives before approval of proposed research is given. Everything must be addressed and justified.
Animal Welfare Act
USDA Animal Welfare Act Policies
What alternatives to animal models should I look into?
This method takes place outside of a living organism.Methods may involve using human cells, human tissue samples (i.e. Genoskin, HypoSkin), tissue cultures, 2D or 3D tissue models (i.e., EpiDerm, EpiSkin, SkinEthic), organs-on-a-chip, cell cultures, etc.
This method may involve virtual trials, databases, models, simulations, imaging studies, VPH (Virtual Physiological Human) models, QSAR, SAR, etc.
Methods may include genetic testing, use of stem cells, microdosing, imaging scans, human volunteers, population research, etc.
Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement
Scientifically relevant terminology for searching alternatives in correlation with the 3 R’s:
“Reduction” and “Refinement:" “Replacement” Keywords: “Replacement” Continued:
Adverse Algae, fungus,hydra, plant Membrane, organ, tissue, slice
Alternatives Alternatives Micro-organism
Analgesic, hypnotic, sedative, tranquilizer Amphibian Model, sample, equivalent
Anesthesia, anesthesia Anesthesia, anaesthesia Physiochemical system
Anxiolytic Animal testing alternatives Plant
Assay, technique, method, procedure Autopsy, biopsy Plastination
Enrichment (behavioral, environmental) Cadaver Prediction
Experimental design Cell, cellular, single-cell organism Replacement, surrogate
Handling, housing, husbandry, caging Computer aided/assisted Instruction Simulation
Invasive, non-invasive Culture Software
Monitoring device Digital imaging Structure-activity relationship
Positive reinforcement Environmental enrichment System
Post-operative, post surgery Fish, cephalopod Train, educate, teach, instruct
Reduction, refinement Hydra Video, virtual reality
Restraint, restrict, immobilize in silico, in vitro Yeast
Train, educate, teach, instruct Insect, invertebrate
Welfare, pain, stress, distress Mammals, non-mammalian