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Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief (2020)

Chapter: HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
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Proceedings of a Workshop


IN BRIEF

June 2020

Human–Animal Interactions in the Research Environment

Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

The bond between people and animals in the laboratory is increasingly recognized as an important component in the field of biomedical research. Close contact between personnel and laboratory animals, once considered a potential threat to scientific objectivity, is now known to improve animal welfare and create feelings of job satisfaction (see Box 1). At the same time, close human–animal bonds mean that animal caregivers can experience grief, guilt, and frustration when inducing disease or euthanizing animals as part of their work. Stigma around the use of animals in laboratory science may make it difficult for members of the laboratory animal community to share the joys and sorrows of their work with their families, communities, and even with colleagues. Left unchecked, these feelings can develop into compassion fatigue—deep physical and emotional exhaustion and a pronounced change in the ability to feel empathy.1 Acknowledging that these feelings exist and providing support in the workplace are important.

Despite the growing recognition of the workplace impacts of the human–animal bond in biomedical research, systematic studies that identify, evaluate, and provide metrics on these issues are lacking. Furthermore, although there is a tendency to think that only those working directly with animals are impacted by compassion fatigue, other individuals involved in laboratory animal science—including animal care facility management, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) administrators, cage wash teams, trainers, and research directors—may also experience stress. The impacts of compassion fatigue on the wider animal science community are seldom acknowledged.

Accordingly, the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop on October 28-29, 2019, to explore the scientific, ethical, and occupational health issues associated with human–animal interactions in the biomedical research environment. Workshop discussions considered the range of people involved in animal care and use in biomedical research settings. Participants explored programs that focus on building compassion resiliency among the laboratory animal science community, with the goal of identifying relevant tools, processes, and lessons learned that could help guide the development of such programs at other institutions. This Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief summarizes the presentations that took place during the workshop.2

THE HUMAN–ANIMAL BOND IN LABORATORY ANIMAL SCIENCE

Ann Turner (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science) focused on the positive impacts of the human–animal bond on laboratory animal science. Turner noted that in her experience, people who choose to work in the field of laboratory animal science tend to love animals and take pride in improving the lives of the laboratory animals in their care.

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1 Figley, C.R., Roop, R.G. 2006. Compassion Fatigue in the Animal-Care Community. Washington, DC: Humane Society Press.

2 Detailed information, video recordings, and presentations from the workshop may be found at https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/human-animal-interactions-in-the-research-environment-a-workshop (accessed April 25, 2020).


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Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
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Melanie Graham (University of Minnesota) pointed out that the overarching goal of biomedical research is to develop drugs and clinical treatments that save lives. Although there has been success in walking away from animal models in some areas of research, in other areas there are currently no alternatives to using animals as part of biomedical research, particularly in the translation of new drugs or therapies to clinical settings. In these cases, the harms to laboratory animal welfare must be weighed against the potential benefits of the research, she said. Because the search for cures emerges from the desire to serve others and reduce pain and distress, Graham asked “Can our caring [for animals] be as central as our curing?”

Caring with Empathy Leads to Better Animal Welfare

There are ways to address pain or distress through the relationships between animal caregivers and laboratory animals, Graham said. Graham noted empirical evidence from human clinical settings showing that empathetic, relationship-based care and control over their environment helped reduce patients’ anxiety and resulted in better patient health outcomes. Similarly, empathetic engagement can improve laboratory animal welfare, she suggested. Strong human–animal relationships in the laboratory translate to behavior and actions supporting the needs of the animals, and this is conducive to good welfare. Handling can be stressful to laboratory animals, especially when associated with adverse interactions (e.g., being placed in restraints for procedures such as blood draws). Graham discussed the need to provide animals with opportunities for choice, control, and participation with research tasks. Understanding animal behavior means that caregivers can use normal behaviors to support research goals, Graham said. Positive reinforcement training helps reduce the stress associated with these interactions, to the point that laboratory animal caregivers no longer need to use restraints to handle animals.3

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3 In this document, the term laboratory animal caregivers includes all of those involved in the care of research animals in the laboratory, from technicians and researchers to animal care facility management, cage wash teams, trainers, and research directors.

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
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Fernando “Freddy” de la Garza (Charles River Laboratories and Becton, Dickinson and Company) described a pig training program developed at Becton, Dickinson and Company to provide environmental enrichment, avoid stress, and successfully complete research. One strategy is to provide toys that help the pigs explore their environment, socialize with their peers, and express natural behaviors such as rooting. When pigs arrive at the research facility, they undergo an acclimation period during which staff seek to understand each pig’s motivators—for example, food rewards or human interaction—that can be provided as positive reinforcement for cooperation with tasks, de la Garza said. New pigs are placed with an experienced “trainer” pig, who can demonstrate cooperation with daily routines for handling, injections, physical exams, and transportation to carts for procedures. de la Garza reported that the training program has helped to improve animal welfare, as measured by a reduction in pig vocalizations.

Caring with empathy can also lead to better scientific outcomes, Graham said. Stress causes a variety of physiological impacts; therefore, laboratory animals who are stressed are not modeling normal patients. This can alter the validity of an animal model and cause a lack of reproducibility in scientific results.

Changing the Human–Animal Dynamic in Research

A key element to achieving good animal welfare in animal research is caring laboratory staff, said Cathy Schuppli (University of British Columbia). This not only improves the welfare of individual animals, but also fosters a culture of empathy throughout the workplace. In animal research, this requires a shift from the traditional view of animals, as subjects used as a means to an end, toward viewing animals as complex beings deserving of respect, Schuppli said.

Schuppli presented research demonstrating how a better understanding of the behavioral, cognitive, and emotional complexity of animals improves attitudes toward research animals. To build this understanding, Schuppli and her team used mandatory training classes to provide researchers with the opportunity to observe highly trained rats who were socialized and accustomed to handling.

In focus groups that were exposed to the trained rats, the researchers discussed how they were impressed by what the rats could do, felt empathy toward the rats, and had more respect for them. In the control groups that observed untrained rats, the researchers viewed the animals simply as research tools, and their comments focused on the technical aspects of the training. Video recordings of the training classes were shown at the workshop as part of Schuppli’s presentation.4

Empathy Helps Make Caregivers More Resilient

Graham emphasized that the connection between caregivers and laboratory animals can influence job satisfaction and may reduce susceptibility to compassion fatigue. In a practical sense, implementing strategies to improve animal welfare can help to reduce scratches, bites, and needle stick injuries to caregivers. She also noted that animal caregivers can gain comfort from knowing that they have done all they can to give the animals in their care the best lives they can have.

Schuppli echoed this theme, noting that although some people in the focus groups were concerned about the consequences of becoming attached to laboratory animals and worried that it would be harder to sacrifice them, others were grateful that caring with empathy ensured that their animals had lived “a fun and happy life.”

UNDERSTANDING COMPASSION FATIGUE IN THE LABORATORY ANIMAL SCIENCE FIELD

Even when animals are treated humanely and benefit from a strong bond with their caregivers, laboratory animal caregivers can still experience feelings of grief, guilt, and frustration at having to induce disease or euthanize laboratory animals. Over time, these emotions can lead to compassion fatigue (see Box 2).

Holly Nguyen (University of Washington) described compassion fatigue as the cost of caring for other lives in emotional, mental, and physical pain. Compassion fatigue is marked by deep physical and emotional exhaustion and a pronounced change in the ability to feel empathy. It is marked by increased cynicism at work, a loss of enjoyment of one’s career, and eventually can turn into depression, stress-related illness, and secondary traumatic stress.

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4 Schuppli’s presentation is available at https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/human-animal-interactions-in-the-research-environment-a-workshop (accessed April 25, 2020).

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
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Acknowledging that compassion fatigue exists and providing support in the workplace are important, but many members of the laboratory animal science community feel unable to talk about their work due to the societal stigma around the use of animals in laboratory science. This means that they are unable to share the sorrows of their work and that they also cannot share the joys of important new discoveries with their families, communities, or even with colleagues, Nguyen said.

Sabrina Brando (AnimalConcepts and University of Stirling) shared preliminary results from ongoing research conducted with co-author Lynette Hart (University of California, Davis) on understanding the joys and sorrows that animal care professionals experience in their jobs caring for animals in zoos. In her presentation, Brando drew some parallels to the experiences of colleagues in laboratory science. Access to social support, working as part of a team, promoting positive working environments and conditions, and supervising positive outcomes can all promote professional satisfaction when caring for animals, Brando said. Yet, these positive experiences may often be combined with ethical dilemmas. Repeated exposure to distressing events, such as neglect, may leave zoo professionals at risk of compassion fatigue.

The Impact of Compassion Fatigue on Career Progression

Tracy Parker (Intuitive Surgical and American Association for Laboratory Animal Science) noted that it is important that leadership within laboratory animal programs recognize the potential for compassion fatigue among all of their employees, and develop processes to identify it.

Parker shared insights drawn from her experience as a training coordinator. In Parker’s programs, all individuals from entry level to PhD would go through training that would include learning tasks such as meeting animals’ needs for food and bedding, disposing of biomedical waste, and recognizing possible symptoms of compassion fatigue in themselves and in others.

Elizabeth Clemmons (Southwest National Primate Research Center) explained that there are four key stages of career evolution that many laboratory animal professionals may go through, beginning with enthusiasm at the start of the career and moving to a state of apathy, exhaustion, and anger as compassion fatigue sets in.

Cynthia Pekow (Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System) discussed how each person’s unique personal and cultural influences shape the quality of the human–animal interactions that they may develop in the research setting. Changes in these factors, such as becoming a parent or experiencing a health problem, can alter an individual’s views of research animals.

Other Issues Can Also Lead to Job-Related Stress

The job-related stress that laboratory animal caregivers may experience is often attributed to euthanasia or caring for ill animals, said Angela Alfonso (Division of Veterinary Resources at the National Institutes of Health). However, other potentially stressful situations involving the care and well-being of laboratory animals are commonly overlooked, she said. These include the challenge of caring for animals who are fearful or anxious or display abnormal behaviors. Other challenges can be associated with attempts to implement social housing for laboratory animals. Caregivers have reported feelings of failure and self-blame if an interaction between animals does not work out or if an animal is injured, she said.

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
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Julie Mattison (National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health) discussed the unique challenges of working with a geriatric colony of non-human primates. Aging is a leading risk factor for numerous human diseases, and animal models of aging have provided an invaluable source of information related to understanding the aging process, Mattison said. However, because aging is characterized by increasing morbidity and cognitive and functional decline, aging laboratory animals may require special treatment or attention from their caregivers, or may require close monitoring for subtle changes in behavior that could be indicative of emerging age-related conditions. Working so closely with aging animals for many years could make it difficult and stressful for caregivers to make end-of-life decisions about the animals in their care, Mattison concluded.

STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING COMPASSION RESILIENCY

While compassion fatigue is a normal consequence of caring, we can learn ways to improve the support system within the laboratory animal workplace to become more resilient and avoid becoming overwhelmed, shutting down, or leaving the animal care profession altogether, said Nguyen. Such support will help to maintain a healthy and productive climate in lab animal science for both humans and animals.

Skinner defined compassion in science as “When one’s knowledge, understanding, or experience is driven by a feeling, emotion, or urge to alleviate an occurrence of pain and suffering systematically through observation and exploration of the triggering phenomenon.”

Skinner argued that the socioeconomic model, a framework that looks at the social and behavioral factors relevant to an issue, is appropriate for addressing compassion fatigue. Skinner talked through applying the socioeconomic model to situations of compassion fatigue at each social level from individuals to the community level. At the individual level, compassion fatigue could be triggered by a lack of training, or by encountering a moral dilemma at work. At the institutional level, Skinner emphasized the importance of the culture and climate of the workplace. “Does it embrace people voicing concerns?” Skinner asked. Opportunities for participation in IACUC activities and to discuss how caregivers are affected by their work with their supervisors were important for preventing compassion fatigue at the individual level, Skinner noted. At the community level, openness to improve understanding and enhance transparency helps engage stakeholders, Skinner said.

Parker shared strategies for helping deal with compassion fatigue from a laboratory management viewpoint. Parker noted that laboratories are made up of professionals at different stages of their career, and who have undergone different levels of training. Although animal care training varies across institutions, care and empathy—both for laboratory animals and for the people who take care of them—are critical skills that are not typically addressed in training.

Parker shared examples of everyday situations in a research facility that could result in conflict, from an entry-level technician tasked with euthanizing 20 cages of mice to a clinical veterinarian interacting with a study director to request a procedural change. Parker discussed potential negative outcomes of these scenarios (e.g., the technician could become distressed and leave work early or the clinical veterinarian could get into an argument with the study director). A typical management response might be to look at conflict resolution methods, Parker noted. Instead, Parker urged laboratory leadership to consider the potential root causes of the conflict and to consider the toll that compassion fatigue may cause. In particular, patterns of behavior could reveal signs of compassion fatigue, Parker said (e.g., if a technician always calls in sick the day after euthanizing animals).

Support Programs

Some research institutions have established compassion fatigue support programs that aim to strengthen the coping mechanisms of people working with laboratory animals. Anneke Keizer (COPEPLUS) described work to assist with the process of setting up such programs. Needs assessments are an important step in this process and help to identify the “needs” or “gaps” between current and desired conditions within an institution, Keizer said. Needs assessments provide an opportunity for employees at all levels, from cage wash personnel to facility directors, to discuss the underlying or unspoken issues within their facility. By identifying common themes among interviews, recommendations can be made for actions to be taken as part of a compassion fatigue support program for that institution.

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
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Vanessa Lee (Emory University) presented from the perspective of an organization just starting to implement a compassion fatigue program to support its staff. There is limited research on compassion resiliency programs specific to the laboratory animal science field, Lee said. However, resources for developing resiliency programs in the human health care field suggest identifying goals and addressing the stresses that might be encountered at various levels within the workplace.5

The first step is assessment, Lee said. Direct measurements of well-being, such as interviews and surveys, as well as indirect measures, such as error rates, can all help a program determine its needs. Lee noted that one factor in helping laboratory animal staff cope with their work is making sure they understand the purpose and importance of their work. There can be formal mechanisms for this, such as presentations sharing research findings, but informal opportunities for laboratory technicians to ask questions about their work are also vital.

Lee discussed the Cognitively-Based Compassion Training® (CBCT®) developed at the Emory University Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, which uses a compassion meditation course to improve resilience and maintain compassion. The course was designed for nurses, medical students, and health care providers, and there is evidence that CBCT® can reduce stress, inflammation, and depression, and increase empathy and compassion.6,7

Nguyen discussed how the University of Washington developed and implemented a sustainable compassion fatigue program called Dare 2 Care. The program is intended to help all members of the research team recognize compassion fatigue, raise awareness, and provide tools, strategies, and resources for managing human emotions in working with and caring for laboratory animals.

The program started with a needs assessment carried out by Keizer’s company COPEPLUS. Keizer conducted more than 150 interviews with staff across the University of Washington’s Department of Comparative Medicine and its Washington National Primate Research Center in 2016 and 2017, and used these interviews to identify objectives. For example, study endpoint notification was identified as an important need, Nguyen said. Laboratory animal professionals could go away on vacation, or even to lunch, and then return to find the animal they had looked after for several years was gone. Endpoint notifications help people prepare for the fact that a particular study will be ending, and that the animals associated with it will be reaching their endpoints.

Emotional Support for Laboratory Animal Caregivers

Nguyen discussed how the needs assessment also identified the need for support of staff, such as having a dedicated phone line or email account answered by members of the research community who have experience with compassion fatigue.

In addition, the University of Washington’s animal use training and occupational health modules now mention compassion fatigue, Nguyen said. The University of Washington, as an institution, is also working to establish an annual commemoration and dedication area to honor the animals that served in biomedical research.

Many people who contributed to the needs assessment commented that they have worked long, difficult, and isolating days, and have nothing to show for their work, Nguyen said. To address this, Dare 2 Care is encouraging researchers to acknowledge the contributions of animal caregivers in the authorship of their publications. Nguyen pointed out a poster presented at Biomedical Research Awareness Day in 2018, which included thanks and acknowledgments to the animals who have been sacrificed, as well as the exceptional daily care that these animals were provided by animal caretakers.

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5 Shanafelt, T., Goh, J., Sinsky, C. 2017. The business case for investing in physician well-being. JAMA Internal Medicine 177(12):1826-1832. http://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.4340.

6 Pace, T.W., Negi, L.T., Adame, D.D., Cole, S.P., Sivilli, T.I., Brown, T.D., Issa, M.J., Raison, C.L. 2009. Effects of compassion meditation on neuroendocrine, innate immune and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology 34(1):87-98. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2008.08.011.

7 Pace, T.W.W., Negi, L.T., Sivilli, T.I., Issa, M.J., Cole, S.P., Adame, D.D., Raison, C.L. 2010. Innate immune, neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress do not predict subsequent compassion meditation practice time. Psychoneuroendocrinology 35(2):310-315. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.06.008.

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
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CHALLENGES WITH OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN LABORATORY ANIMAL RESEARCH

At the institutional level, providing an environment of openness and transparency around research can help animal caregivers with compassion fatigue, said Paula Clifford (Americans for Medical Progress [AMP]). However, the willingness of individuals and institutions to be open about biomedical research is inextricably linked to societal acceptance of using animals in research, testing, and experimentation, pointed out B. Taylor Bennett (National Association for Biomedical Research). Bennett recounted how, over the course of his career at the University of Illinois, the communication environment around biomedical research has changed as the activism of groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has elevated animal rights issues to national prominence.

The lack of institutional openness and transparency has led to a gradual loss of trust across the biomedical research realm, said Ken Gordon (Northwest Association for Biomedical Research). Gordon cited data from Gallup polling that show that the number of people who believe that medical testing on animals is morally acceptable has declined over the past several years. The data showed that, although older generations generally support biomedical research, younger generations—in particular, millennials—generally do not. Millennials prize openness and transparency, Gordon said, and members of the biomedical research community are often reluctant to share information. The failure to meet changing community demands for transparency is causing a loss of trust in biomedical research, Gordon said.

Policy and Regulatory Implications

Paul Locke (Johns Hopkins University) made a similar point, presenting data from Gallup polling and from the Pew Research Center showing that over the past 10 years, there has been a trend toward increasing societal concern about animal research. The poll data also showed disparities in terms of gender, education, and age on how people view the use of animals in research.

Gordon cautioned that the consequence of an unchecked loss of societal trust in biomedical research would be the eventual loss of moral and legal rights to conduct animal research. Locke expanded on this point, noting that societal views on research have been reflected in laws that protect research animals. In the 1960s, reports in popular publications, such as Life magazine and Sports Illustrated, on companion animals being taken and used in research led to a surge of societal attention to the use of animals in laboratories. During this period, the U.S. Congress received more mail about animal care issues than about civil rights and the war in Vietnam combined. The growing societal interest in animal rights issues led to the passage of the Animal Welfare Act in 1966, Locke said (see Box 3).

Locke presented a model to help visualize the relationship between society’s view of animal use in biomedical research and the extent to which animal rights are protected under the law. Society’s view of animals and animal use is modulated by openness, transparency, and accountability, he said. The way the research community demonstrates that it embraces these concepts, expressed as affirmative duties, will impact how the societal license to operate—in other words, the license to use animals—is captured in law.

A good summary of the affirmative duties expected of researchers and research institutions can be found in the 2011 National Research Council report Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide), Locke said.8

Strategies for Building Openness and Transparency

Several speakers said that openness and transparency could help rebuild public trust in biomedical research. Gordon stated that because the default mechanism of the biomedical research community is to say nothing, other people—

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8 National Research Council. 2011. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12910.

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×

including activist groups—are “telling our stories.” Gordon discussed strategies that will allow the biomedical research community to take control of its own messaging, thereby allowing individuals and institutions to take pride in their work. For example, Gordon suggested that biomedical researchers share their pride in the translation of their work into cures, the care they provide to animals, their role in ethics oversight, and the teams they have built. Gordon stressed that researchers should be honest and specific about their role and should give sincere, personal reasons for their decision to carry out research that involves animals. Gordon also emphasized the importance of listening to other points of view, and instead of arguing with them, finding points of connection with them to prove to the broader community why biomedical research is so important.

Bennett discussed the need for institutional-level efforts toward openness and transparency. He started by offering his own definition of the concept of transparency and openness as “characterized by accessibility to readily understood information.” Bennett discussed his personal experience as a researcher at the University of Illinois in the 1980s, taking part in efforts to educate his campus and community about animal use in research. Because of its use of random source dogs9 in research, the university became a target of the animal rights movement. University leadership made the decision to be as transparent as possible about the use of animals in research at the institution. Bennett emphasized the importance of institutional buy-in, including support from campus public relations staff, legal counsel, security, and government affairs staff, as well as the Board of Trustees. One successful strategy was to work with the campus newspaper, which resulted in a centerfold story, illustrated with several photographs, about the work carried out at campus animal care facilities.

Bennett discussed creating a collaborative learning environment within animal care facilities, stating that less than optimal events in animal care facilities are usually the result of a lack of education. If issues with animal care do arise, it is important to keep administrators, IACUC administrators, and the public relations staff aware of the situation.

Quality programs simplify openness, Bennett said, but cannot be created overnight. This means supporting strong animal protocol review, implementation, and monitoring processes and developing sound programs of animal husbandry that meet the recommendations of the Guide on a daily basis. It is important that all members of the staff feel valued, and those in leadership roles should lead by example and provide support when things do not go according to plan. When institutions are willing to allow public visits to animal care facilities, it is important to explain why some areas may be off-limits (e.g., due to biosecurity issues).

Formalizing Openness Efforts

Clifford shared efforts to establish formal openness agreements in biomedical research that are taking place around the world. These are sets of principles by which institutions collectively agree to provide more information to the public on animal studies. For example, in 2014 the United Kingdom established the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK, which now has 122 signatories, representing almost all of the research institutions in its countries. Four institutions in the United Kingdom have also taken part in Lab Animal Tour, an initiative that provides online tours through research facilities.10

U.S. institutions have also made progress toward a formal openness and transparency agreement, Clifford said. In the United States, the 5th International Conference of the Basel Declaration Society in 2018 included four workshops that developed policy papers on themes of openness and transparency. A key aspect that came out of the discussions was the need for U.S. institutions to engage in proactive and reactive communications with the public about all aspects of research. Clifford also discussed the work of Speaking of Research, a group of researchers and laboratory animal care professionals who led an effort to publish an open letter in USA Today that emphasized the importance of testing on animals and called on America’s research institutions to embrace openness. More than 600 members of the scientific community signed the letter, Clifford said.11

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9 A random source dog is one obtained from an animal pound or shelter, auction, or from any person who did not breed and raise the animal on his or her premises. See the Animal Welfare Act and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Online. Available at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/bluebook-ac-awa.pdf (accessed April 7, 2020).

10 See http://labanimaltour.org (accessed April 25, 2020).

11 Speaking of Research. 2018. USA Today. Available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/06/20/lets-continueanimal-testing-americas-scientific-community/718331002 (accessed February 24, 2020).

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×

Clifford shared a website, Come See Our World, set up by AMP, which features images submitted by laboratory animal care professionals to provide insights into their work.12

Another public outreach effort is AMP’s Biomedical Research Awareness Day, which provides biomedical researchers on veterinary school campuses with an opportunity to share their work with fellow students and the public. Clifford also pointed out that some institutions, such as the University of Washington, are routinely posting on their website any violations that are flagged during routine inspections, together with the actions taken to resolve the issue.

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12 See https://www.comeseeourworld.org (accessed April 25, 2020).


DISCLAIMER: This Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief was prepared by Solmaz Barazesh Spence as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The statements recorded here are those of the individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all participants, the planning committee, the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use, the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. To ensure that this proceedings meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity, it was independently reviewed in draft form. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief:

Planning Committee: Bruce W. Kennedy (Co-Chair), Chapman University; Sally Thompson-Iritani (Co-Chair), Washington National Primate Research Center; J. Preston Van Hooser (Co-Chair), University of Washington; Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, University of California, Los Angeles; Patricia Turner, Charles River Laboratories; Mary Ann Vasbinder, GlaxoSmithKline.

ABOUT THE ROUNDTABLE ON SCIENCE AND WELFARE IN LABORATORY ANIMAL USE

The roundtable was created to promote the responsible use of animals in science, provide a balanced and civil forum to stimulate dialogue and collaboration, and help build trust and transparency among stakeholders. Roundtable members comprise entities with strong interests in the use of laboratory animals in research, testing, and education, including government agencies, leading pharmaceutical and consumer product companies, contract research organizations, animal advocacy groups, professional societies, and prominent academic institutions.

Roundtable Members: Robert C. Dysko (Chair), University of Michigan; Jill Ascher, National Institutes of Health (Vice-Chair); Paul A. Locke (Liaison to Council, Institute for Laboratory Animal Research), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Szczepan Baran, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.; Bonnie V. Beaver, Texas A&M University; Cindy Buckmaster, Baylor College of Medicine; Saverio (Buddy) Capuano III, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center; Carol L. Clarke, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Michael DuVall, Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson; James G. Fox, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Gloria J. Gaito, Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development; Alema Galijatovic-Idrizbegovic, Merck and Co., Inc.; Gail C. Golab, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA); Debra L. Hickman, Indiana University School of Medicine; Michael Huerkamp, Emory University; Bruce W. Kennedy, Chapman University; David M. Kurtz, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences; Margaret S. Landi, GlaxoSmithKline; Joseph T. Newsome, University of Pittsburgh; Lori S. Palley, Massachusetts General Hospital; Patricia Preisig, Yale University; Brianna L. Skinner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Edda (Floh) Thiels, National Science Foundation; Joseph Thulin, Medical College of Wisconsin; Patricia V. Turner, Charles River Laboratories; Axel Wolff, National Institutes of Health; Robert H. Wurtz, National Institutes of Health; and Julia Zaias, University of Miami.

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×

This activity was supported by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA); Cayuse; Charles River Laboratories; Emory University; GlaxoSmithKline; Indiana University; Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson; Laboratory Animal Welfare Training Exchange (LAWTE); Massachusetts General Hospital; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Medical College of Wisconsin; MedImmune; Merck & Co., Inc.; National Institutes of Health’s Office of Animal Care and Use, Office of Extramural Research, Office of Intramural Research, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Office of Research Services’ Division of Veterinary Resources; National Science Foundation through grant no. IOS-1639899; Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.; Pfizer Inc.; University of Miami; University of Michigan; University of Pittsburgh; U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service through grant AP17C000000G002; U.S. Food and Drug Administration through grant No. 5 R13 FD 005298-05; Wisconsin National Primate Research Center; and Yale University. Any opinions, views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in written workshop materials or publications and by speakers or moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the National Science Foundation or any organization or agency that provided support for the project; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human–Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. http://doi.org/10.17226/25787.

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Copyright 2020 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 1
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 2
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 4
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 5
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 6
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 7
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 8
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 9
Suggested Citation:"HumanAnimal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop - in Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human-Animal Interactions in the Research Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25787.
×
Page 10
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