A study on Swedish researchers’ attitudes and views of the 3Rs
Abstract: Every year, millions of vertebrates are used worldwide in experimental studies. If, how and when animals are allowed to be used in research is stated in the European directive 2010/63, incorporated in the Swedish animal welfare act (1988:534). In short, you are only allowed to conduct experiments with animals if; they cannot be replaced with any other method, the number of animals are reduced as much as possible (without compromising the potential results) and refinement has been applied to housing, procedures and care. To be allowed to work with experimental animals researchers must undergo proper education and, before any experiment begins, apply for an ethical permit from a regional animal ethics committee. In 2014 the Swedish Board of Agriculture was assigned by the Swedish government to form a centre for the 3Rs. To find out more about what researchers working in Sweden know about and implement when it comes to the 3Rs, the centre put together a survey which was sent to all researchers in Sweden who had applied for an ethical permit, during the period 2016-09-01 to 2017-08-31. Out of 555 individuals that could potentially answer the survey, 215 replied. With the help of the collected data from the survey this master’s thesis aimed to find out more about the respondents attitudes to the 3Rs in relation to their background, how often they think about and discuss the subject, and find out what they consider to be obstacles/reasons for implementing the 3Rs. Two questions from the survey were chosen to represent if the respondents had a positive or negative attitude to the 3Rs. If they disagreed with the statements in the questions they were considered to have a more positive attitude and if they agreed, a more negative attitude. The results did not show any clear connection between the respondents’ background and their attitudes to the 3Rs. Comparability with previous data and lack of appropriate scientific or technological innovation was considered to be two important obstacles for implementation of the 3Rs and ethical reasons was considered the foremost reason for implementation. The respondents seem to discuss refinement the most and half of them do not see any obstacles for its implementation.
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