Internal consistency and compatibility of the 3Rs and 3Vs principles for project evaluation of animal research

Eggel, Matthias; Würbel, Hanno (2020). Internal consistency and compatibility of the 3Rs and 3Vs principles for project evaluation of animal research. Laboratory animals, 002367722096858. Sage Publications 10.1177/0023677220968583

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Using animals for research raises ethical concerns that are addressed in project evaluation by weighing expected harm to animals against expected benefit to society. A harm–benefit analysis (HBA) relies on two preconditions: (a) the study protocol is scientifically suitable and (b) the use of (sentient) animals and harm imposed on them are necessary for achieving the study’s aims. The 3Rs (Replace, Reduce and Refine) provide a guiding principle for evaluating whether the use of animals, their number and the harm imposed on them are necessary. A similar guiding principle for evaluating whether a study protocol is scientifically suitable has recently been proposed: the 3Vs principle referring to the three main aspects of scientific validity in animal research (construct, internal and external validity). Here, we analyse the internal consistency and compatibility of these two principles, address conflicts within and between the 3Rs and 3Vs principles and discuss their implications for project evaluation. We show that a few conflicts and trade-offs exist, but that these can be resolved either by appropriate study designs or by ethical deliberation in the HBA. In combination, the 3Vs, 3Rs and the HBA thus offer a coherent framework for a logically structured evaluation procedure to decide about the legitimacy of animal research projects.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Würbel, Hanno

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0023-6772

Publisher:

Sage Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lilian Karin Smith-Wirth

Date Deposited:

01 Feb 2021 15:01

Last Modified:

07 Feb 2021 03:03

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0023677220968583

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/151699

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/151699

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