The Institute for Laboratory Animal Research — An International Resource for Promoting the Three Rs
In 1995, an international group of scientists met in Sheringham, Norfolk, UK, for a workshop entitled The Three Rs: The Way Forward. There, with the participation of William Russell and Rex Burch, the group discussed each of the Three Rs in detail, and made specific recommendations on how to promote them within the scientific community. The Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) was established as part of the US National Academy of Sciences, to develop and disseminate information and guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals. Over the years, the focus of ILAR has been to improve the health, welfare, and psychological well-being of the research animal, using the Three Rs as a foundation. ILAR’s programmes include an international component, through which it reaches out to other countries via translations of its report; the ILAR Journal, a quarterly publication that focuses on animal models, animal welfare and protocol review; communications and outreach through the ILAR website and presence at scientific meetings; and special reports in which expert committees make recommendations to improve science and animal welfare. Through the efforts of ILAR and similar organisations, it is now recognised that high standards of humane care lead to better science. However, continued effort is needed to promote the Three Rs in developing countries.