Enrichment for mice - Photo by iStock

Refinement of Housing and Handling

AWI strongly supports the principles of the 3Rs proposed by Russell and Burch: replacement of animals in research with non-animal alternatives; reduction in the number of animals used in experiments; and refinement of the care and treatment of the animals who continue to be used in research, testing and education. AWI encourages research institutions and laboratory personnel to provide animals with comfortable housing with conspecifics; veterinary treatment including pain relief; and the opportunity to engage in species-typical behaviors—while sparing them needless suffering. To promote and facilitate the implementation of refinements by laboratory personnel, AWI creates and provides many resources for people who work in laboratories.

Meeting the Social Needs of Nonhuman Primates

AWI has been at the forefront of efforts to provide nonhuman primates with social housing and other forms of enrichment designed to addresses their behavioral needs to the greatest extent possible. AWI is a strong proponent of gaining the trust and cooperation of primates for routine procedures rather than using stress-inducing removal from the home cage and forced restraint.

Extending Legal Protections to Rats, Mice, and Birds

AWI’s advocacy was a key factor in passage of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in 1966, as well as in passage of subsequent amendments to strengthen and broaden it. AWI remains committed to strict enforcement of the AWA and to extending the legal protections afforded by this law to all animals in research, including rats, mice, and birds.

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