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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

1999 Henry Spira Award

Christine Stevens

Christine Stevens, whose lifelong work on behalf of animal welfare has made her an internationally known figure, received the first Henry Spira Award from The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT).

Stevens became interested in the treatment of laboratory animals more than 50 years ago. In the late 1940s, her father (a doctor who performed physiological research) was roundly condemned by colleagues after he criticized the manner in which research dogs were kept in laboratories. She began to investigate for herself the status of laboratory animals. As a result of her investigation and her own belief that no organization adequately represented their interests, she founded the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) in 1951 and a sister lobbying group, the Society for Animal Protection Legislation (SAPL), four years later.

Stevens and the AWI were staunch supporters of the 3Rs approach to alternatives long before the philosophy of "refinement, reduction, and replacement" became written into U.S. or international regulatory law. Of the existing U.S. laws to protect animals, 15-including the Animal Welfare Act, which mandates the consideration of alternatives-were passed since the founding of AWI and SAPL.