AWI is pleased to announce publication of Committed to Animal Welfare: Discussions by the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum, Volume IV, edited by Viktor Reinhardt. Since 2002, AWI’s Laboratory Animal Refinement and Enrichment Forum (LAREF) has facilitated the exchange of ideas and the sharing of personal knowledge and experience by animal care personnel who strive to improve the conditions under which animals in research are housed and handled, while shielding them from unnecessary pain and stress. In compiling this latest LAREF volume, Viktor chose from discussions that took place on the forum from January 2013 to January 2016.
Committed to Animal Welfare offers numerous insights into the psychological and behavioral needs of various species in a laboratory setting. The conversations are filled with heartfelt personal anecdotes concerning the caregivers’ interactions with the animals and attempts to provide them with meaningful enrichment and greater opportunity to express natural behaviors in an otherwise unnatural environment. Forum participants also discuss successful techniques for handling, calming, and acclimating the animals to human contact.
While some of these caregivers enjoy the full support of their institutions for their creative efforts, others must persevere in the face of limited resources and recalcitrant administrators and researchers. In all cases, however, their unbridled determination to do what they can for the animals in their charge is truly inspiring.