The NC3Rs is a medical catastrophe for human patients


The National Centre for 3Rs (NC3Rs) promotes an animal testing legislation policy called the 3Rs – ‘reduce, refine and replace’ –  established in 1959 for ‘humane experimental technique on animals’.

The 3Rs is now enshrined in the outdated Animals in Scientific Procedures Act , which entirely ignores current scientific knowledge proving that animals have never held predictive value for the responses of humans, in disease research and medical testing. [1-4]

Predictive value in science means getting the answer right around 90 – 95% of the time.

For a test to be accepted as having predictive value by our hospitals and GPs, that test needs to predict the correct outcome for patients around 90-95% of the time. Examples of such tests include those to diagnose if a patient has cancer or HIV AIDS. Animal testing entirely fails to meet this standard. Nine out of ten potential new medicines fail to reach the market shelf because tests on animals are not capable of predicting the responses of humans, in clinical trials. Pharmaceutical companies write about this failure of animal models in their drug development process, openly and often in the scientific literature.

In toxicology testing alone – where rats and Beagles are used to measure the toxicity levels of potential new human medicines – the animal test outcomes correlate with humans around 31% of the time: that’s less than a toss of a coin and worse than guessing. The National Cancer Institute has said we have lost cures for cancer because such studies in rodents have been believed. [5]

There is no doubt that the wider scientific community – outside the vested interests – agree that animals have never held predictive value for humans. But the 3Rs community continue to ignore this, calling for ‘alternatives’ to a method that has never existed. The correct medical term for human-based research is ‘viable’ – this is not an alternative: animal testing is not an interchangeable alternative with human-based research, which has a track record of success.

The 3Rs also calls for a worthless scientific endeavour to be reduced and refined. For more details on the human medical catastrophe which is the 3Rs, please visit this page.

For an example of how animal modelers use the 3Rs to maintain false science, please visit this tweet, below:

148 MPs have now signed four Parliamentary EDMs calling for a science hearing to judge and end animal experiments

These MPs include Jeremy Corbyn MP, Tom Watson MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Diane Abbott MP, Sir Edward Leigh MP, Tim Farron MP and Nigel Dodds MP.

To ask your MP to sign the current EDM please type in your post code at this link .


  1. 1. BMJ 2014; 348: g 3719  (available here)
  2. 2. Shanks N, Greek R Animal Models in Light of Evolution Boca Raton: Brown Walker Press; 2009.
  3. 3. Shanks N, Greek R, Greek J: ‘Are Animal Models Predictive for Humans?’ Philos Ethics Humanit Med 2009, 4:2
  4. 4. Lumley CE, Walker S Lancaster, Quay, editors, 1990, ‘Clinical Toxicity – Could it have been predicted? Post-marketing experience’, 57–67; Heywood R. Animal Toxicity Studies: Their Relevance for Man.  
  5. 5. Gura T: ‘Cancer Models: Systems for identifying new drugs are often faulty’. Science. 1997, 278 (5340): 1041-1042. 10.1126/science.278.5340.1041.