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Focus on severe suffering

Welcome to the RSPCA/LASA/LAVA/IAT Severe Suffering web resource.

RSPCA logo © RSPCA, LASA logo © LASA, LAVA logo © LAVA and IAT logo © IAT

These web pages provide information and resources that will help you to avoid severe suffering. All of the material can be used by anyone involved with the use of animals in research, but you may wish to follow one of the three different routes for (1) researchers, (2) animal technologists or veterinarians and (3) members of ethics or animal care and use committees, such as Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Bodies (AWERBs) in the UK and Animal Welfare Bodies (AWBs) in the rest of the European Union.

The RSPCA is a scientific animal welfare organisation that works to progress the 3Rs and encourage effective ethical review of research and testing using animals. We have partnered with LASA, LAVA and IAT to create this resource as part of our ongoing work with respect to animal use, which has a special focus on severe suffering. With a positive approach and good communication, much can be done to reduce suffering – and animal welfare and science will both benefit.

We have organised two international ‘Focus on Severe Suffering’ events; in Brussels in June 2016 and in Berlin in October 2017. Each event brought together over 120 participants from governments, regulatory bodies, industry and academia across numerous countries. The aim was to help those involved in the regulation, use and care of animals in science to recognise, and reduce the impact of, research and testing using animals which currently falls into the highest severity category. We received very positive feedback after these meetings and hope to organise further events.

This is the first version of this resource and we will be adding much more. The content has been reviewed by a diverse panel of individuals from industry, academia, regulatory authorities, learned societies and organisations. The authors of this material are indebted to these reviewers for their contributions. Please visit regularly and send us your feedback at

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