SESSION VI: CORE PRINCIPLES TO ACHIEVE CONSISTENT ANIMAL CARE AND USE OUTCOMES
Throughout the workshop many panelists and participants emphasized the need for animal research regulations that balance quality science, animal welfare, and public confidence. Science must be subject to strong evaluation of experiments and experimental design, observed session chair Richard Nakamura. Key animal welfare considerations are to minimize pain and distress and improve overall well-being. Many participants emphasized that public confidence stems from the assurance that animals will be appropriately protected and that science will not be inhibited from discovering much-needed solutions to global problems.
Nakamura suggested that animal welfare should not be considered in isolation from scientific goals or the larger needs of society. Several participants stressed the importance of scientific validation of animal welfare practices and standards to ensure that they actually do make a difference in terms of animal welfare. Some panelists and participants said it is also important to consider the overall costs in terms of resources on animal welfare measures.
Animal welfare issues are global, and participants urged more discussion among governments, regulators, and scientists to further the under standing of differences in regulation and impacts on animal welfare outcomes.
Participants discussed core principles for the regulation of the use of animals in research, asserting that alignment/harmonization of animal research principles may be achieved independent of differing policies or practices. Many participants believe that while there may be a need for recommendations or guidance on specific neuroscience procedures, the core principles by which animal studies should be conducted are the same for any discipline, including neuroscience.