AWI strongly supports Russell and Burch’s “3R's”: replacement of animals in research with 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. AWI provides funding to laboratory personnel to conduct research focused on improving the housing and handling of animals in research.
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.
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.
AWI seeks to end the sale of dogs and cats by random source Class B dealers to research facilities, as many such animals are acquired illegally and kept in squalid conditions.