Laboratory Animal Medicine

Laboratory Animal Medicine (Third Edition)

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine
2015, Pages 1653-1672
Laboratory Animal Medicine

Chapter 39 - Animal Welfare rights and content

The term ‘animal welfare,’ in both the lay and scientific community, is often used to refer to a concept. In this context, positive animal welfare may be substituted with the term ‘well-being.’ Animal welfare serves as a cornerstone, or foundation, for laboratory animal medicine and the use of animals in research. ‘Animal welfare’ also refers to a measurable state in an animal which may be related to the adequacy of an animal’s ability to cope with its environment. Animal welfare is a branch of science which looks at these measurable states in almost all areas of our interaction with animals – agriculture, entertainment, companionship, research, and others. This chapter will highlight the significant emphasis on animal welfare in the field of laboratory animal science and medicine, beginning with some of the history, philosophies, ethics, and events which have shaped the impact of animal welfare on the use of animals in research. Laws and regulations will only be briefly mentioned as they are covered elsewhere in this book; however, guidelines and principles, such as the 3Rs, will be covered in more detail. Using examples of reduction and refinement, strategies for optimizing laboratory animal welfare in general and in several specific areas of research will be discussed. Animal welfare as a science, measuring the animal’s perception of their state of well-being and going beyond just physiologic measurement of health and production, will be discussed, with particular focus on the use of behavioral monitoring to measure welfare.

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