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Refinement of the use of non-human primates in scientific research. Part III: refinement of procedures

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There is an ethical and scientific need to minimise the harm experienced by animals used in scientific procedures and to maximise their well-being. Welfare can be improved by the refinement of practice, particularly if these refinements are applied to every aspect of the life of an animal used in the laboratory, from birth to death. Primates are considered likely to have a greater capacity for suffering than other sentient species and therefore refinement of their use is particularly important. The refinement of the human impact on laboratory-housed primates and of housing and husbandry practices are dealt with in parts I and II of this three-part review. In part III, methods of refinement that can be applied specifically to the use of primates in procedures, are summarised and discussed, together with a description of some current practices, and the scientific evidence that suggests that they should no longer be used. Methods of refinement of identification, capture and restraint, sampling, administration of substances, humane endpoints, and euthanasia are included. If these methods are used, taking into account species-specific differences and needs, it is concluded that harm can be minimised and primate welfare improved.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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