Welfare assessment of laboratory animals
The Joint Working Group on Refinement (JWGR) is an association between the British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation (BVAAWF), FRAME, the RSPCA and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW). Its latest publication is a guide to defining and implementing protocols for the welfare assessment of laboratory animals.
The report states that the refinement of husbandry and procedures to reduce animal suffering and improve welfare is an essential component of humane science. In order to minimise suffering by animals undergoing scientific and medical research procedures it is essential to be able to recognise any signs of pain or distress quickly.
The guide offers practical guidance on setting up and operating protocols that will ensure effective observations, identify appropriate signs of distress, allow understanding of what is normal for the animal concerned, record all findings appropriately and establish consistency between observers.
It sets out general principles and gives examples as well as making recommendations designed for use by anyone involved in assessing animal welfare, such as technicians and care staff, veterinarians and scientists.
The full report has been published in the journal Laboratory Animals and can be found through the website.
Archived 25 February 2011