. "Point/Counterpoint: The Cases For and Against Harmonization." The Development of Science-based Guidelines for Laboratory Animal Care: Proceedings of the November 2003 International Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2004.
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The Development of Science-Based Guidelines for Laboratory Animal Care: Proceedings of the November 2003 International Workshop
for the purpose of discovering laws governing those phenomena. This workshop certainly was a phenomenon.
Some issues that arose were surprises, for example, the fact that we do not know our own regulations and our own country’s standards as well as we should. We need to improve in that area, and I think this workshop is a step in that direction. We heard that message repeatedly. I would also like to emphasize that we all need to communicate these issues to the scientific community. We need them on our side to address the issues. I think we all have the combined common goal of improving welfare and performing good science, but we need the scientists in the room. We have had some discussions about how to accomplish that goal. The first thing to do when you return to your laboratories is to share this information with your colleagues. This issue is very important both today and for the future, because if we do not resolve the problems ourselves, the public will expect others to do it for us. I do not think any of us want to be in that position, because the privilege of using animals in research, worldwide, is at stake. To maintain that privilege, we must address the issues around it. Our understanding of the guidelines, what drives them, what creates them, the science behind them, and where we get the funding—all of the issues we have discussed—will preserve and protect that privilege and the stewardship that is part of using animals in research. On behalf of the ILAR Council International Committee, I again thank every one of you for making this a wonderful experience.
DR. DEMERS: I have been asked by my colleagues at the international level to express our many thanks to ILAR and to the National Academy of Sciences, to Dr. Hilton Klein, Chair of the Program Committee, and to all members of the Program Committee. We also thank Ms. Kathleen Beil and all of the support staff who have assisted us in the planning of this meeting. We thank those who were involved in the organization of the meeting, and especially ILAR Director Dr. Joanne Zurlo. Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to explain and describe how we see things. We all are seeking the same high-quality result regarding the welfare of animals, and we all are scientists. Finally, but very importantly, we thank the sponsor and cosponsor of this workshop, without whose support its success would not have been possible.
I hope that this initiative will be repeated. I urge all of you to attend the next FELASA meeting, to be held next year in Nantes, France, where the theme of the meeting will be internationalization and harmonization in laboratory animal care and use issues. This meeting will provide an opportunity to maintain the ongoing dialogue, because even if we agree or disagree on harmonization, I believe that most of us agree that it is important to keep communication active and proactive.