Despite their indispensability in research, animal experiments should be kept to a necessary minimum or better avoided altogether. The ethical 3Rs principle - Replace, Reduce and Refine - serves as a guideline. The two British researchers William Russell (zoologist) and Rex Burch (microbiologist) formulated these three concepts and published them in 1959 in their book „The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique“. The principles described therein are intended to limit the number of experiments as well as to reduce animal suffering to an indispensable level.
WI3R - bundled expertise
The further development and implementation of the 3R principles represents a central task of biomedical research. In recent years, the metropolitan region of Northern Bavaria has developed into one of the leading research locations, especially for cancer and infectious diseases as well as for novel medical devices. At the same time, alternatives to animal testing have gained in importance and have found their way into biomedical research. The research location Würzburg has meanwhile become the nucleus of 3R research, in particular of alternative methods to animal experiments, within Bavaria and beyond.
The Würzburg 3R Initiative (WI3R) bundles Bavarian 3R activities from academia, regulatory authorities and industry and networks with existing 3R centers in Germany, Europe and worldwide. In addition to the quality-assured provision of alternatives to animal experimentation, the research network will also be active in the field of science communication and continuing education.
The aim is to establish alternatives to animal experimentation as an accepted standard in the population, research and industry. The Fraunhofer Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies TLC-RT, the University Hospital and University Würzburg act as main coordinators in this regard.
For more information: WI3R WEBPAGE