AWI congratulates the most recent Refinement Grant recipients:
Dr. Brianna Gaskill, Purdue University: Investigating the link between laboratory personnel’s professional quality of life and the provision of environmental enrichment to animals under their care. Environmental enrichment has proven welfare benefits, yet it is not consistently used. The purpose of this study is to shed light on the relationship between human attitudes and the provision of environmental enrichment to laboratory animals. Understanding this link may help with the development of intervention strategies to improve the welfare of animals in research.
Dr. Kathleen Coda, University of Illinois at Chicago: Developing and validating environmental enrichment strategies to improve the welfare of rabbits housed in standard-size laboratory cages. This study seeks to determine which enrichment devices—designed to encourage natural behaviors like exploration, digging, and rearing—the animals prefer. Subsequently, the study will examine physiological and behavioral indicators to determine whether providing the rabbits with preferred enrichment can help mitigate the stress they experience during shipping.