Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement

We are firmly committed to the 3Rs across the organization.

  • Innovation is a core focus, and we offer alternatives to animal testing when possible.
  • We emphasize animal health and genetic integrity, both of which decrease study data variability and reduce the number of animals needed for research.
  • We partner with clients to develop study designs that decrease the number of animals needed and suggest pilot studies where necessary.

Learn How We Have Put the 3Rs Principles Into Action


    Our FDA-licensed Endosafe® cartridge technology replaces the use of hundreds of thousands of rabbits each year in the safety testing of human and animal products for contamination per the 3Rs initiative. Since 1992, only Charles River requires fishermen to hand-harvest crabs for use in our lab, where their blood (LAL) is harnessed as a natural indicator for contamination. Crabs are then returned to the sea unharmed within a day's time. Additional technology uses human blood cells as an in vitro test system for the detection of pyrogens.

    Learn more about how we are helping to ensure the continued population growth of the horseshoe crab.


    The use of microsampling in preclinical drug development helps reduce small animal usage in toxicology studies while refining data by measuring full toxicokinetic profiles from each animal. Overall, the advantages of microsampling far outweigh its limitations in applicable bioanalytical techniques. The use of more sensitive analytical techniques is helping to address these limitations. We have validated this method for small molecules and are currently in validation for large molecules.


    We now offer the Monocyte Activation Test (MAT) according to EP 2.6.30. The MAT predicts the human response to pyrogens on the basis of human fever rather than animal models. This test may be used as an alternative to the rabbit pyrogen test. The MAT can test for Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms, other biological pyrogens (e.g., yeast), as well as parasitic and viral pyrogens.


    Implementation of the 3Rs is reinforced by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Ethics Committee (EC) and Animal Welfare Body (AWB) at all of our facilities around the globe. The IACUC, EC and AWB are responsible for oversight of the facilities' animal care and use program, for promoting refinements and ensuring animal well-being, and for assuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations related to animal care and use.