The National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) has today launched the Aotearoa New Zealand Three Rs Awards.
The new awards, which aim to celebrate achievement in the development and implementation of the Three Rs, include a $50,000 research grant. The grant will provide funding for research specifically targeted at developing ways to replace, reduce, or refine the use of animals in research, testing, and teaching.
Chair Grant Shackell says NAEAC expects the awards to actively encourage innovation around the Three Rs.
"The Three Rs are guiding principles for ethical use of animals in research, testing, and teaching," says Mr Shackell.
"The concept of the Three Rs is to replace and reduce the number of animals used in research, testing, and teaching, and refine experimental techniques to minimise pain or distress.
"NAEAC is targeting the discovery or implementation of scientific knowledge, methodologies and or technologies that enhance Three Rs principles.
"There will be 2 awards, to be made every 2 years. The first award is $5,000 and will be given to an individual, group, or institution within New Zealand that shows significant commitment to implementing the principles of the Three Rs.
"The second award will provide a $50,000 research grant to an individual, group, or institution within New Zealand to underpin a research project that specifically targets at least one of the Three Rs principles.
"We will present the first awards in November 2018," Mr Shackell says.
The awards are funded by AgResearch Ltd, The Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART), Lincoln University, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Massey University, University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington.
The scope of the awards will not be limited to animal researchers and organisations operating under a code of ethical conduct. Applications from New Zealand institutions or companies that are outside the animal-based research community, but can demonstrate a role in developing or implementing the principles of the Three Rs, will be considered.