3Rs-Related and Objective Indicators to Help Assess the Culture of Care
RSPCA Research Animals Department; Wilberforce Way, Southwater, West Sussex RH13 9RS, UK
Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Allé, 2880 Bagsvaerd, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
‘Culture of Care’ within animal research and testing refers to a commitment to improve animal welfare, the quality of the science, staff morale, and openness with the public. An effective Culture of Care should also promote the replacement of animal experiments with humane alternatives, reductions in animal numbers and suffering, and better welfare through the refinement of procedures, housing, husbandry and care (collectively known as the 3Rs). The Culture of Care is recognized as the foundation of humane and responsible science, but the concept should be applied in a meaningful way and not simply used as a ‘buzzword’. Recognizing this, some establishments have begun to define and assess their individual Culture of Care. This paper provides some examples of their approaches to surveying staff and external colleagues. It also sets out some suggestions for objective criteria for assessing the Culture of Care, and for indicators that capture progress with each of the 3Rs. The aim is to complement the growing literature on the Culture of Care and highlight some sources of information and inspiration to help establishments tailor their own assessments.