Update: May 2020
Refinement, the third of the 3Rs, is the use of methods that alleviate or minimise potential pain and distress and enhance animal welfare. It applies to all aspects of animal care and use, from housing and husbandry to research and teaching procedures.
The Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes states:
1.28 Steps must be taken at all times to support and safeguard animal wellbeing. The effectiveness of strategies for supporting and safeguarding animal wellbeing must be kept under review during the lifetime of activities, including projects. Where relevant and applicable, the outcome of this review must be implemented in current activities and taken into account in planning future activities, including projects.
1.29 People who care for and use animals must ensure that procedures are performed competently, and
- be competent for the procedure they perform, or
- be under the direct supervision of a person who is competent to perform the procedure.
1.30 The duration of activities must be no longer than required to meet the aim(s) of the project, and must be compatible with supporting and safeguarding animal wellbeing. Animals must not be held for prolonged periods as part of an approved project before their use, without AEC approval.