Research Requirements for Animal Welfare
Since 2009, Parsemus Foundation has only supported research which meets the new European standards for animal care, which are much more stringent (and, we believe, humane) than the current American standards. This is necessary in order to be consistent with our work on animal welfare, and as part of an effort to raise the bar among colleagues and grantee institutions by leading by example. We are pleased to announce a first success: After a summer of negotiations in 2009, the University of California was able to meet our conditions by designing an entirely new housing arrangement for a study, providing group housing and more natural social interactions for study animals for the first time ever.
Consistent with the advancements promoted by the (U.K.) Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research, a minimum number of animals is used, and the study is designed so the animals do not need to be sacrificed– in addition to the improvements in quality of life. And the study is a demonstrable step towards improving human and/or animal welfare, another requirement for foundation funding. We have continued following these principles in all sponsored studies since then, including negotiating improved conditions for rabbits and providing farm-like housing for goats. Animals are adopted out at the conclusion of the study whenever possible.
Grantees seeking foundation support can make use of the following documents to explore whether they will be able to meet the conditions.
New European standards. All foundation-funded projects are required to meet or exceed these standards, or, in field-based rather than laboratory-based research, to improve the lives of the animals studied consistent with the spirit of these standards.
National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research. All foundation-funded projects are required to take the NC3Rs recommendations into account.
NC3Rs leaflet with overview of NC3Rs projects and services.
Animal Welfare Institute: Making Lives Easier for Animals.
NC3Rs Primate Guidelines.
Reinhardt: Taking Better Care of Monkeys and Apes
Refinements in husbandry, care and common procedures for non-human primates: Ninth report of the BVAAWF/FRAME/RSPCA/UFAW Joint Working Group on Refinement.
Refining rabbit care: A resource for those working with rabbits in research (RSPCA and UFAW, 2008).
Supplementary resources regarding rabbit care and housing:
National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research – rabbit page.
Animal Welfare Institute Comfortable Quarters for Dogs in Research Institutions.
RSPCA Dogs: Good Practice for Housing and Care (2011).
Enrichment safety tips: Learning from others’ experience.