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  • Writer's pictureClive Roper

The North American 3Rs Collaborative

Today, the North American 3Rs Collaborate ( announced that I am now a member of Board of Directors. I have reflected back to late 2015 when Marilyn Brown (Director, Animal Welfare, Charles River) asked me if I could advise on the Replacement component of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction & Refinement) in a new initiative which she was setting up. I joined a small group of people who wanted to create a North American version of the UK NC3Rs. Many of them are still involved and some are, deservedly, resting!

We found it was not going to be possible to create a new version of the NC3Rs, so the group considered what should be possible and achievable. What about a 3Rs group that was a hub for 3Rs ideas, a sharing consortium, a safe place to generate ideas, create and share animal welfare improvements and how to incorporate replacement technologies into every day testing. The name then came easily. At the World Congress ( in Seattle, we hijacked a booth and announced to the scientific community the birth of the North American 3Rs Collaborative. Our booth was just buzzing with activity.

I remained a supporter over the next few years, but was not as active as I'd intended. There were so many things to keep running. In January 2021, I joined the UK NC3Rs as a member of the Board. At the same time, I was getting involved with the NA3RsC with the regulatory and MPS sub groups. It is incredible what we have achieved - all in peoples own time. By the end of 2021, I decided to apply to join the NA3RsC BoD and was so happy when I found out I was accepted. There is a lot for us to do, but we have the very charismatic and highly energetic leadership from Megan LaFollette, a wonderful and enthusiastic Board of Directors and many active members across different subgroups. We certainly want to gain more members of the NA3RsC as we have a lot to do. For example, we want to share those best practices in animal welfare, many of which are published through NC3Rs and NA3RsC. We want to know about the new technologies especially in the microphysiologics and advanced tissues models fields. We also have many plans to engage and work with regulatory agencies on acceptance of New Approach Methodologies.

We now have an organisation that is bigger and more influential then any of us could have imagined just 6 years ago.

What about other countries 3Rs groups? Well, there is a whole family of these which are well connected and supporting each other initiatives.

* FICAM - Finnish Centre for Alternative Methods (Finland)

* NC3Rs - The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (UK)

* Danish 3R-Centre - (Denmark)

* Norecopa - (Norway)

* CAAT-Europe - Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing

* IZSLER - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna (Italy)

* SWETOX - Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center (Sweden)

* ROCAM - Romanian Center for Alternative Test Methods (Romania)

* Bf3R - Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Germany)

* RIVM - National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (The Netherlands)

* 3Rs-Centre Utrecht - (The Netherlands)

* Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO - (Switzerland)

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