Spec. Issue 2006 - Article Summary

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Establishing the three Rs principle: A plea for an international severity standard

Andrzej Elzanowski
Institute of Zoology, University of Wroclaw, Poland
Summary
Severity (harm, invasiveness) scales focus the attention of both regulators and researchers on highly invasive experiments and thus help to promote the 3Rs, especially the refinement. A severity scale is critical to the quality of ethical review processes (ERPs) in limiting arbitrariness and situational opportunism of assessments, defining the acceptability ranges for some animal uses, especially in education, and differentiating justification requirements. An international severity scale would improve ERPs in some countries and put pressure on others to institute them. An international severity scale would also facilitate the promulgation of other international requirements and restrictions that are applicable only within appropriate severity grades and that otherwise would be impractical, questionable or vague. I therefore advocate finding an appropriate international organisation to negotiate and propose an international severity standard and to launch an international campaign to promote its acceptance.

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