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Compatibility with science: Scientists

Mouse with head popping out of hole in cardboard mouse house © RSPCA

It is increasingly accepted that ‘better welfare equals better science’. Both psychological and physiological suffering can increase the variability of animals’ physiological responses as they attempt to cope with the stressor. Reducing suffering will therefore decrease the ‘signal to noise ratio’ in experimental data, improving the power of the study, which may result in fewer animals being used in each experiment. In all cases, researchers should always be able to explain and justify scientific reasons for not implementing refinement (e.g. to their AWB/AWERB).


This article in the Enrichment Record (PDF 1.27MB) discusses the concept of ‘better welfare equals better science’ in more depth, with respect to enrichment, and includes some action points for researchers.


If you have a case study that you would be prepared to share on this site, we would be pleased to hear from you: research.animals@rspca.org.uk


The following case histories illustrate where refinement has been applied to severe models or procedures and the benefits that have accrued:

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