Animal-Centric Care and Management – Enhancing Refinement in Biomedical Research
The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and management, Animal-centric Care and Management: Enhancing Refinement in Biomedical Research takes Russell and Burch’s definition of Refinement as “elimination of inhumanities” and goes further. Rather than fitting animals into experimental conditions, it encourages readers to adjust conditions to better meet the behavioral, emotional, physical, and physiological needs and preferences of the animals. The team of expert authors, from the fields of laboratory animal science, ethology, biology as well as animal training, provide ideas for creating housing conditions and handling procedures that induce, to the best of current abilities and knowledge, a long-term positive state of mind in the animals under our care.
This book is written for animal caretakers, animal health technicians, researchers, animal facility managers, laboratory animal veterinarians, and anyone who engages in work with living experimental animals or is interested in the continuous improvement of laboratory animal welfare. This interdisciplinary guide will act as a catalyst, resulting in multiple viewpoints and fields collaborating to optimize laboratory animal welfare.
The higher the general expectations of animal welfare are, the more the animal’s behavioral needs, preferences, and positive mental states are prioritized and defended. Even in studies where it is not possible to achieve a high level of animal welfare, if the baseline level is higher from the start then it is likely that some level of welfare will be maintained. Handbook of Laboratory Animal Anesthesia and Pain Management: Rodents
These alterations in thinking will require that we change the way we approach study design. This is likely to be a challenge, but our hope is that this book will provide ideas to help develop a more animal-centered approach to housing, handling, and not least, experimental procedures.
In this book, we have combined ideas and concepts on a variety of subjects from the fields of laboratory animal science, ethology, biology, and animal training to produce a laboratory animal science book that illuminates the uniqueness of the animals used for science, new ways to interact with them, and to provide stimulating and challenging environments. This book was contrived on the basic assumption that laboratory animals are all sentient, conscious, individuals with the capacity for both suffering and pleasure. Further, we use a broadly defined concept of “animal welfare;” we feel that a discussion on the nature of animal welfare is outside the scope of this book. It is our hope that this interdisciplinary book will act as a catalyst, resulting in multiple viewpoints and fields collaborating to optimize laboratory animal welfare.
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