Comfortable Quarters for Laboratory Animals

AWI is pleased to announce publication of the tenth edition of Comfortable Quarters for Laboratory Animals, our guide to the humane housing and handling of animals in research. AWI has produced editions of Comfortable Quarters for the past half century to serve as a key resource for animal care personnel in laboratories. Free copies are distributed to individuals in research facilities around the globe.

There is a great need for stronger, more inclusive legal protections and more stringent housing and handling standards for animals in research. There is, however, a nascent but growing recognition in scientific circles of the need to keep these animals physically and psychologically healthy—not only because it is a moral imperative (which is reason enough), but also because doing so reduces extraneous variables. From the earliest days of the organization, AWI has worked to propagate innovative housing and handling techniques that provide animals in research with adequate enrichment, species-appropriate quarters, and relief from unnecessary pain and distress.

Comfortable Quarters describes the unique biological and social needs of animals and provides practical advice on how caretakers in the laboratory can better accommodate those needs. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific animal group—from mice (chapter 1) to nonhuman primates (chapter 14). In this tenth edition, ferrets and zebrafish are covered for the first time, and there are summary chapters on the human-animal bond and extraneous variables.

This book is intended for anyone involved with animals in research, including technicians, veterinarians, scientists, institutional officials, enrichment specialists, inspectors, and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee members. AWI hopes that all who have a hand in the way these animals are treated will take inspiration from this book to go well beyond the minimum standards in seeking to ensure the best possible welfare for the sentient beings in their care.

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