Asking questions about harms
As a lay person, you are not expected to be expert in the potential harms caused to animals, nor how
to avoid or alleviate these. Other members of the ERB should provide this expertise, but you should
feel free to ask questions that enable you to understand the impacts on animals, so that you can
consider the balance of benefit versus harm in the project as a whole, and in individual procedures
Harms to animals: key questions for all ERB members
Is it clear what will happen to the animals throughout their lifetimes?
Are all the potential adverse effects (both physical and psychological) identified and described in terms
of what they will actually mean for the animals?
Do you get a clear sense of the severity of adverse effects likely to be caused to animals in individual
procedures within the project?
Are you satisfied that everything possible will be done to minimise and avoid harms to animals in
Are you confident that all of the 3Rs have been adequately addressed?
The boxes below and overleaf include points to help consider whether the 3Rs have been applied and the potential
harms to animals have been reduced as far as possible (see also Chapter 3 for definitions and additional examples
of the 3Rs).
Implementing the Three Rs in practice: points to consider
Are the following aspects clearly explained and addressed?
The need to use animals to achieve the objectives and why non-animal approaches are considered
Efforts made to search for alternatives to the use of animals and consider ways of avoiding animal use.
Use of non-animal methods in any part of the project; and how animal and non-animal methods relate to
and build on one another.