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BMB Rep. 2014 Apr;47(4):179-83.

Individual and collective responsibility to enhance regulatory compliance of the Three Rs.

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Division of Institutional Review and Research Ethics, Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Graduate School for Life, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-701, Korea.


Investigators planning to use animals in their research and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) members who review the research protocols must take personal responsibility for ensuring that they have the skills and knowledge to perform their duties, applying the Three Rs principles of Russell and Burch. The two Korean laws introduced in 2008 and 2009 regulating animal use for scientific purposes in line with the Three Rs principles have been revised a total of 11 times over the last 6 years. Both regulatory agencies, e.g., the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, provide regular training based on the legal requirements. Based on the amended Animal Welfare Act, the IACUC appointment framework has been upgraded: appointments are now for two-year terms and require a qualified training certificate issued by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency since 2012. The authors reviewed the current curricular programs and types of training conducted by the two governing agencies through Internet searches. Our Internet survey results suggest that: a) diversity should be provided in training curricula, based on the roles, backgrounds and needs of the individual trainees; b) proper and continued educational programs should be provided, based on trainees' experiences; and c) active encouragement by government authorities can improve the quality of training curricula.

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