Animal Supply

Animal supply choices affect the implementation of reduction and refinement in an experimental protocol. The use of high quality animals (i.e. genetically defined and free from pathogenic organisms and environmentally induced stress) can help reduce animal use without compromising the scientific objective of a study. In addition, an animal's experiences help determine social behaviour, and will impact the animal's future welfare under the housing conditions in a breeding facility.

Husbandry and welfare standards in place at the supplier should be at least as good as those at the institution in which the animals will be used. User institutions should establish communication with their breeding/supplying establishment in order to:

  • balance supply and demand so that surplus animals are not produced
  • minimize stress involved in transport and relocation
  • ensure continuity of husbandry and care

Some information that is specific for certain types of suppliers is provided here:

Commercial Breeders arrow1


In-House Breeding Programs arrow2


Agricultural Animals arrow3


Non Purpose-Bred Versus Purpose-Bred Dogs and Cats arrow4


Wild Caught Animals arrow5


This section was adapted from material on the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) website and CCAC guidance documents.

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