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The quality of research animal welfare is undeniably linked to the quality of scientific results generated from the animals. Although mice are the most commonly used mammalian species in biomedical research, little information is available about what factors should be considered to promote future progress. To address this issue, the Animal Welfare Committee of the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP) surveyed laboratory animal veterinarians to obtain their opinions about the welfare of mice and to consider the roles of 5 factors that significantly affect animal welfare in biomedical research: husbandry, clinical care, experimental use, regulatory oversight, and training. The survey revealed that 95% of veterinarians scored mouse welfare as acceptable to excellent, although areas for improvement remain. These areas include: 1) training of researchers performing experimental procedures; 2) the frequency of monitoring mice likely to experience pain and distress due to experimental manipulation; 3) inclusion of the institutional veterinary staff in the monitoring of mice likely to experience pain and distress; 4) continued improvement in the environmental enrichment provided to mice; 5) the ability of the IACUC to ensure that instances of noncompliance are fully addressed in order to prevent reoccurrence both within laboratories and among other research groups at the institution; and 6) reliance on non-veterinarians to perform examinations, diagnose disease, and prescribe the treatment of sick or injured mice.


James O Marx, Kenneth O Jacobsen, Nicolette A Petervary, Donald B Casebolt. A Survey of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians Regarding Mouse Welfare in Biomedical Research. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science : JAALAS. 2021 Mar 01;60(2):139-145

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PMID: 33371930

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