Laboratory Animal Welfare Approach in Science
The term laboratory animal welfare has been generating a huge amount of controversial questions in science since the very beginning. Humans use animals that are suited to their needs, be they of a psychosocial, therapeutic, official, scientific or nutritional nature. Due to their similarities to human and short life span, the percentage of rodents used for science will correspond to the percentage of similarity between our respective genomes. The era of genetic manipulation led to accelerated and unnatural manipulation of life forms, which was quite shocking for the generations of the last millennium. Yet, it is completely normal today that genetic engineering is applied to living creatures or virtually.
Biomedicine is looking for insights into mechanisms of health preservation, clarity when it comes to development of diseases, prevention of and treatment methods for diseases, researching the environment, and improving the quality of life for mankind. Science observes the phenomena of life in action, and animals change quickly, which makes them appropriate for our objectives. The sheer number of chosen animals with known parameters and bodily responses that can be used in biostatistical analysis, which are expected to help us obtain our results, calls for an approach to animal welfare in science. Alternative methods are being developed through teamwork of researchers and veterinarians in order to find methods that will overall decrease animal pain and suffering to the lowest degree possible, while increasing the possibility of valuable research contributions. Legislative background is available as a starting point and gives researchers basic guidelines for animal welfare categorization.
(Broman* I. Laboratory Animal Welfare Approach in Science. SEEMEDJ 2020; 4(1); 102-105)