The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) requires principal investigators to consider alternatives to procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to animals and provide a written narrative of the methods used and sources consulted to determine the availability of alternatives, including refinements, reductions, and replacements (the 3 Rs).
Conducting a literature search is the primary method of meeting this requirement. Policy 12 of the The USDA's Animal Care Policy Manual outlines the requirements for conducting and reporting the results of a comprehensive literature search.
By examining the literature, you may discover that other laboratories have already worked on certain parts of your research project, making a duplicate experiment unnecessary. You may also discover alternative methods of animal care, animal treatment, or experimental design that require fewer or less expensive specimens.
Prior to ACUP approval, principal investigators must demonstrate that they actively searched for alternatives to procedures that may cause animal pain or distress.
To answer Q. 12 of the ACUP form, include: