An abridged version of the book that first set out the Three Rs principles of alternatives to animal experimentation has been translated into Chinese, and will be distributed to libraries and universities throughout China.

China has so far been slow to adopt alternatives – cosmetics testing on animals is still required by law there, for example – but support for non-animal methods is growing.

The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique was published more than 50 years ago  by  William Russell and Rex Burch. It set out the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) system which governs much of the development of alternative bioscience research methods in the West, but it is widely accepted to be a difficult read.

The abridged version , The Three Rs and the Humanity Criterion, was produced in 2009, by FRAME Life President Professor Michael Balls, with the aim of making Russell and Burch’s ideas more readily accessible to those whose first language is not English.

Now Dr Shujun Cheng has translated that abridged version into Mandarin. It has been published by China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. and will be provided free to Chinese public libraries and universities through the IIVS (The Institute for In Vitro Sciences),  and EPAA (European Partnership for Alternative  Approaches to Animal Testing.

The preface to the new translation says:  “We are very encouraged that alternatives organisations are being formed in China, for example CCARE (the Chinese Center for Alternatives Research and Evaluation), and that interactions are beginning to occur between these organisations and comparable ones throughout the world, such as FRAME, IIVS, ASCCT (American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology) and CAAT (Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing).

“The exchange of information that occurs between scientists in these organisations is a strong driver of changes in national regulatory testing requirements toward the international harmonisation that we all desire. We continue to be very impressed by the rapid acceptance among Chinese scientists of the need for more- humane and more predictive toxicology assays.”

A copy of the English version of the book is available for £10 (including post and packaging) by contacting