In accordance with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, research must be based on a clear set of principles, Replacement, Reduction and Refinement. Known as the 3Rs, these are the principles on which animal research is conducted within Queen's.
To use alternative methods where possible. For example, the use of cell lines either human or animal. Using tissues from human participants, and/or through the development of mathematical or computer models.
To use the minimum number of animals in an experiment or in an overall research study.
This is the application of different methods to lessen suffering, pain, lasting harm that may be experienced by research animal. Refinement also refers to methods used to improve animal welfare such as their housing.
The University has been awarded a number of NC3Rs grants to enable our researchers to develop alternatives to animal research. The projects have included:
- School of Biological Sciences: 'Development of non-radioactive labels for a receptor binding assay for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin testing'
- School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences: 'An in vitro model for pain and neurogenic inflammation in the oro-facial region and upper airways'
The ARRIVE Guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) were developed by the National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). Queen’s is committed to their use as they support researchers in communicating how they report the use of animals in their research.