National Anti-vivisection Society

 

National Antivisection Society

NAVS stand by statement: “Laboratory animals suffer terribly.” ASA Criticised

Posted: 25 July 2006

1

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) does not accept the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) claims about our leaflet on laboratory animal suffering. The NAVS stands by our original statement that “laboratory animals suffer terribly at every stage of their lives.”

The NAVS has criticised the ASA for the way that the complaint about the leaflet has been mishandled. The NAVS were not given an opportunity to respond to the criticism. The complaint was made by a pro-vivisection lobby group, and the ASA had behaved like a kangaroo court.

The NAVS has always co-operated with the ASA but only learned of the forthcoming judgement when a member of staff read about it in a Sunday newspaper.

The NAVS immediately contacted the ASA requesting details of the complaint and asking for an opportunity to present a defence. The ASA refused. Indeed it is now clear that the ASA had already released the information to the media, making any genuine investigation of the challenge to the facts on the leaflet impossible.

Jan Creamer says: “Frankly, we are not sure if there is anyone who does not believe animals suffer terribly in laboratories – except those with a vested interest in the animal research industry.
“The fact that suffering due to impoverished environments, overcrowding, overbreeding and high wastage of life is integral to the animal experimentation industry is surely the reason that laboratories are excluded from the Animal Welfare Bill which addresses suffering caused by husbandry.
“This country has specific legislation for animal laboratories because it is necessary to issue licences to allow animals to suffer in ways that would otherwise be criminal. That is the point of the legislation on animal experiments – to regulate levels of pain, suffering and distress. The ASA’s so-called investigation of this matter has been sloppy, cavalier, and irresponsible.”

The NAVS leaflet stated that: “Laboratory animals suffer terribly at every stage of their lives. Most live in overcrowded, factory-farm type conditions. Experiment licences permit the infliction of pain, suffering, and harm.”

The NAVS has gathered evidence that the nature of laboratory animal husbandry, the housing, the handling of the animals and for some species overbreeding, causes suffering throughout these animals lives. Additionally, they suffer the effects of the experimental or testing procedures. Scientific and empircal (photo, video) evidence has been gathered to illustrate–

  • Scientific studies have shown that laboratory animals experience stress in the laboratory environment. Some studies have shown that the stress caused by overcrowding, severe confinement, handling and other factors can cause biochemical changes in the animals that can affect the outcome of the experiment. Laboratory animals mostly live in unnatural impoverished environments: rodents are kept in small plastic boxes, stacked up in racks, thousands in one room; dogs, primates, goats and other species are kept in small, sterile, cages or pens. Where attempts are made at environmental enrichment, these are poor in comparison to the natural environment. (See refs at end notes 1,2,3,4)
  • Various studies carried out by NAVS Field Officers inside British laboratories have found evidence of fighting and self-mutilation which is caused by poor husbandry and housing conditions. (See refs at end 1,2,3,4)
  • The reason that animal experiments and experimentation laboratories are licensed is because they are being licensed to treat animals in a way that would otherwise be illegal, under general animal protection legislation (See refs at end notes, 5-14).
  • Animal laboratories will be exempted from the provisions of the Government’s current Animal Welfare Bill which is designed to prevent suffering from poor husbandry. This acknowledged that the kind of intensive factory-farm style conditions in animal laboratories cannot meet the animal welfare standards at the heart of the Animal Welfare Bill. (See refs at end notes, 5-14)
  • It is acknowledged that animals such as dogs and primates suffer in the laboratory environment. However, it is even acknowledged by some in the industry that the rodents (the majority of laboratory animals may suffer the worst). (See refs at end notes 5-14)
  • Figures released by the Government this week (July 2006) reveal that 33% (a third) of all animal used in tests are genetically modified. These animals endure additional suffering.
  • Producing genetically modified animals involves: females suffering repeated surgery, egg collection & implantation; repeated blood and tissue sampling for the offspring. They can experience: longer pregnancies; higher birth weights; increased deaths at birth; severe health problems.
  • (NAVS: GM animal suffering briefing refs therein)

    The ASA has mishandled this case

    The ASA have mishandled this case. On Monday of this week, after the allegations about our leaflet and the ASA’s decision appeared in the national press, NAVS immediately called the ASA. We were initially informed that their principal contact was through a fax which we had no record of, and then later, that they had called our offices and left messages for “the marketing department”.

    One message on a Saturday when our office was closed, and one when both our Chief Executive and Campaigns Director were in the building. There is no record of these calls in the NAVS telephone log and the ASA does not have the name of the person they spoke to. It appears that the ASA did not make the effort to speak to a person in authority to ensure that the matter was being dealt with.

    The ASA’s attitude to their duties appears to be cavalier and irresponsible.

    Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of NAVS: “Clearly if there has been a blunder at the NAVS and we did not response, I will investigate this. But I find it extraordinary that the ASA can call our offices and ask to speak to the “marketing department” when I am in the building, not know who they spoke to, and there is no message in our book. The ASA needs to look at its procedures before issuing damaging statements. They have a responsibility to ensure that those who they condemn have had an opportunity to defend themselves.”

    In the event, the ASA has made this judgement on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. On Monday 24th, the NAVS requested an extension in order to supply evidence, but the story had already been released to the media.

    We are also deeply concerned that the decision was released to The Observer newspaper before the NAVS was even aware of it. At the very least, the ASA should have called us to say that they were about to release the decision.

    The pro-vivisection lobbyists who claim “not all animals suffer terribly” appear to be attempting to mislead the public about what goes on inside British laboratories.
    ___________________________ENDS __________________________

    ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    Scientific studies and empirical evidence on laboratory animal suffering:

    In the United Kingdom in 2005 there were 2.9 million procedures on animals. 85% of these were on rodents, mainly mice. (Home Office). Mice spend their lives in cages little bigger than shoe boxes, the walls of which are either clear or opaque plastic, which means they are either constantly exposed, with nowhere to hide, or it is as if they were stuck in a well looking up only at the bottom of the cage above. The lid of the box is wire mesh with a feed hopper and a water bottle.
    (NAVS: Empirical evidence, video, photographs, witness statements).
    (Home Office, Statistics for Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2005)

    A rat cage is similar in design, but larger. The minimum space allowed for a single rat, under European guidelines, is less than two thirds of the cover of a typical magazine. But they are usually grouped, so get less space per animal.
    (Lynda Burke, Better Homes for Laboratory Animals, New Scientist, December 1988.)
    It is not uncommon for rodents to be used in procedures or even killed, in the same room, or within sight of each other. One study of scientific literature indicated that control rats housed in the same room as rats being used in procedures showed raised levels of corticosteroids, as compared with controls in another room.
    (Trevor Poole, Happy Animals make good science, Laboratory Animals, 1997, 31, 116 – 124)

    Studies have shown that animals housed in isolation have altered physiological and behavioural responses. Isolation leads to changes in the brain, and animals living alone also tend to react more to stress, such as when they are being handled. In particular, the levels of hormones secreted by their adrenal cortex tend to increase in response to stress. Because these hormones are popularly known as stress hormones, researchers have tended to conclude that isolation is stressful.
    (Burke, 1988.)

    Male mice tend to be territorial (Burke, 1988) and, given the extreme limitations on their space in the laboratory, may fight with cage mates. The injuries amongst these mice can be quite horrific, with toes bitten off, tails bitten to stumps and huge wounds in their bodies.
    (Empirical evidence of fighting injuries, video, photographs, witness statements, NAVS).

    A report has confirmed that even after being bred in captivity for 70 generations, mink are still severely stressed if they are unable to fulfil their natural behavioural needs. This study showed that if mink cannot perform their favourite activity of swimming, natural in their wild territory, they release stress hormones.
    (Mason GJ et al., Frustrations of fur-farmed mink. Nature, 1st March 2001, 410: 35-36)

    Routine Mutilations

    The routine mutilation of laboratory animals for identification purposes causes not only unnecessary suffering, but further serves to desensitise those who should be caring for them. One commonly used method is to punch holes through the ears of conscious rodents.
    (J. Versteeg, (1985) A Colour Atlas of Virology, p.85)

    Various combinations of holes are used to indicate different numbers. For example rat number 97 in a particular laboratory had six separate holes punched through its small ears and rat number 597 would have nine such mutilations.
    (Documents: Animal Psychology, Bethlem Royal Hospital. Numbering System for Rats.)

    This cannot be compared with human ear piercing, where thin, sharp hygienic needles are used, along with local anaesthetic. A more accurate comparison would be having a large nail hammered through one’s ear lobe, or using a hole punch (for file paper) to pierce the ear, or slice off its edges.

    Tails, and even toes, may be cut off, using scissors, to identify the animals.
    (Empirical evidence: video, photographs, witness statements: NAVS)

    Over a decade ago, the UK government’s advisory body, the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) advised that ear punching of livestock at market should be stopped.

    Experiments at the University of Heidelberg showed that rats would not choose to live in laboratory cages.
    (Burke, 1988)

    __________________________________________________________________

    Additional Notes and References to support the bullet-point statements made in the NAVS press release (above):

    1. M. D’Arbe, R. Einstein, and N. A. Lavidis ‘Stressful animal housing conditions and their potential effect on sympathetic neurotransmission in mice’. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol Vol. 282, Issue 5, R1422-R1428, May 2002.

    2. Moberg GP (2000) Biological responses to stress. In: ‘Biology of Animal Stress: Implications for Animal Welfare’ (Moberg GP, Mench JA, eds). Oxon: CAB International, pp 1-21

    3. Wemelsfelder F, Birke L (1997) Environmental Challenge. In: ‘Animal Welfare’ (Appleby MC, Hughes BO, eds) Oxon: CAB International, pp 35-47

    4. All these three points are reiterated in ‘Improving housing conditions for laboratory mice: a review of ‘environmental enrichment’, Anna S. Olsson, & Kristina Dahlborn, Laboratory Animals (2002) 36, 243 -270.

    5. The RSPCA carried out a survey in 2002, involving 28 institutions and 137 people across the UK, on ‘Recognising and assessing pain, suffering and distress in laboratory animals’. It showed that “the overwhelming majority of respondents (97%) assumed that animals did or may experience adverse effects to some extent, either during the procedures that they conducted as part of their projects or as a result of those procedures. 82% said that they routinely presumed that adverse effects are present in animals following experiments.

    6. Balcome J. P., Barnard, N., Sandusky, C (2004) Laboratory Routines Cause Animal Stress. Contemporary Topics – American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. 43: 6 p42-51

    7. Animal Protection Act 1911 prohibits causing pain and distress to animals; the Government’s Animal Welfare Bill, due to receiving Royal Assent in 2006, will prohibit the kind of impoverished husbandry found in many laboratories; the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 licences the inflicting of pain and suffering on animals; categories of pain and suffering are mild, moderate, substantial. The cost-benefit assessment for a project licences weighs the cost in animal suffering against the potential benefits from the product or procedure (e.g. benefit to humans).

    8. Medical Hypotheses Volume 60, Issue 2 , February 2003, Pages 284-289
    Are laboratory animals stressed by their housing environment and are investigators aware that this stress can affect physiological data? Meera Jain and Ann L. Baldwin:-

    • “Most respondents agreed that environmental factors are stressful to laboratory animals (97%) and minor pain/stress causes physiological changes (62%).”
    • “Plous and Herzog [1] found that almost 70% of the protocols reviewed involved experiments on vertebrate animals undergoing some degree of pain and stress (22.7% minor pain and stress, 42.7% significant pain and stress, 4% intolerable pain and stress).”
    • “The pilot survey had a response rate of 29/49 (59%). The results indicated that the majority of respondents were in agreement with the following statements:
    • Artificial noise, such as from cage washers, can be stressful to animals (76%).
    • Stress in animals affects the outcome of research (93%).
    • Environmental factors, such as housing conditions, can be stressful to laboratory animals (97%).
    • Minor pain/stress causes physiological changes in an animal (62%).”

    9. Applied Animal Behaviour Science Volume 86, Issues 3-4 , June 2004, Pages 261-289. From house mouse to mouse house: the behavioural biology of free-living Mus musculus and its implications in the laboratory. Naomi Latham and Georgia Mason:-

    • “The physical and social environment and behaviour of wild mice differ greatly from those of laboratory mice.”
    • “The potential impact of these many differences and restrictions on laboratory mouse development, normalcy and welfare has only begun to be explored.
    • “Our review confirms the likelihood of all these issues as potential causes of poor welfare, but also prompts a number of new hypotheses. Many social factors, for example, might decrease welfare. These include having no choice in dispersal age or strategy, and being exposed to auditory and olfactory cues from mothers following ‘weaning’, yet with direct contact impossible. Mice may find it aversive to be housed with unfamiliar, same-sex adults, and laboratory housing provides little opportunity for escape from aggressive encounters, or the odours and vocalisations of potentially threatening conspecifics. Finally, welfare may be reduced through the inability to choose mates or parental strategy. Thus understanding the lifestyle of free-living mice generates new ideas for research that could improve welfare in research establishments.”
    • “Physiological and anatomical measures of brain structure and function show the potential impact of housing laboratory mice in barren, unstimulating environments.”
    • “As we have seen, mice are a remarkably adaptable species, but despite this ability to adapt, their welfare and normalcy may well be compromised in laboratory units, their natural behavioural biology suggesting many diverse reasons for this.”

    10. Stereotypies and other abnormal repetitive behaviors: Potential impact on validity, reliability, and replicability of scientific outcomes. Garner JP. Source: ILAR Journal 46 (2): 106-117 2005.

    • “Captive environments may interfere with these behavioral responses, and the resulting stress may alter many physiological parameters.”

    11. Ethical and welfare implications of the acquisition and transport of non-human primates for use in research and testing. Author(s): Prescott MJ, Jennings M. Source: ATLA 32: 323-327 Suppl. 1A, June 2004 .

    • “Assessment of the ethical and welfare implications of any laboratory animal use should encompass the entire life-history of the animals concerned, including their acquisition and transport. This is particularly important in the case of non-human primates, because the acquisition of some species involves capture from the wild, inadequate husbandry, and/or lengthy, multistaged travel from the country of origin to the laboratory where they are used. Thus, non-human primates endure considerable harms even before they reach the laboratory.”

    12. http://www.psyeta.org/hia/vol8/wemelsfelder.html
    Animal Boredom - A Model of Chronic Suffering in Captive Animals and Its Consequences For Environmental Enrichment. Françoise Wemelsfelder.

    • “Millions of laboratory animals are presently housed in small, extremely barren cages, in which opportunities for species-specific interaction with the environment are largely absent.
    • Generally speaking, animals housed in a barren environment show an overall decrease in interaction with the environment.”

    13. Title: Cage sizes for Tamarins in the laboratory. Author(s): Prescott MJ, Buchanan-Smith HM. Source: Animal Welfare 13 (2): 151-158. May 2004
    “For animals used in the laboratory, the environment can be an additional source of suffering and distress.”

    14. Balcome J. P., Barnard, N., Sandusky, C (2004) Laboratory Routines Cause Animal Stress. Contemporary Topics – American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. 43: 6 p42-51

    • Handling effects can significantly alter an animal’s immune status – either enhancing or compromising and could have important methodological implications
    • The data suggests that significant fear, stress and possibly distress are predictable consequences of routine laboratory procedures, and that these phenomena have substantial scientific and humane implications for the use of animals in laboratory research.
    • Limited data in non human primates suggests that routine handling causes alterations in a number of physiologic parameters indicative of stress

    For further information, contact Allison Tuffrey Jones in NAVS Press Office,
    Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP:
    Tel: 020 7630 9159
    Mob: 07785 552548
    Email: [email protected]

    ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    Scientific studies and empirical evidence on laboratory animal suffering:

    In the United Kingdom in 2005 there were 2.9 million procedures on animals. 85% of these were on rodents, mainly mice. (Home Office). Mice spend their lives in cages little bigger than shoe boxes, the walls of which are either clear or opaque plastic, which means they are either constantly exposed, with nowhere to hide, or it is as if they were stuck in a well looking up only at the bottom of the cage above. The lid of the box is wire mesh with a feed hopper and a water bottle.
    (NAVS: Empirical evidence, video, photographs, witness statements).
    (Home Office, Statistics for Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2005)

    A rat cage is similar in design, but larger. The minimum space allowed for a single rat, under European guidelines, is less than two thirds of the cover of a typical magazine. But they are usually grouped, so get less space per animal.
    (Lynda Burke, Better Homes for Laboratory Animals, New Scientist, December 1988.)
    It is not uncommon for rodents to be used in procedures or even killed, in the same room, or within sight of each other. One study of scientific literature indicated that control rats housed in the same room as rats being used in procedures showed raised levels of corticosteroids, as compared with controls in another room.
    (Trevor Poole, Happy Animals make good science, Laboratory Animals, 1997, 31, 116 – 124)

    Studies have shown that animals housed in isolation have altered physiological and behavioural responses. Isolation leads to changes in the brain, and animals living alone also tend to react more to stress, such as when they are being handled. In particular, the levels of hormones secreted by their adrenal cortex tend to increase in response to stress. Because these hormones are popularly known as stress hormones, researchers have tended to conclude that isolation is stressful.
    (Burke, 1988.)

    Male mice tend to be territorial (Burke, 1988) and, given the extreme limitations on their space in the laboratory, may fight with cage mates. The injuries amongst these mice can be quite horrific, with toes bitten off, tails bitten to stumps and huge wounds in their bodies.
    (Empirical evidence of fighting injuries, video, photographs, witness statements, NAVS).

    A report has confirmed that even after being bred in captivity for 70 generations, mink are still severely stressed if they are unable to fulfil their natural behavioural needs. This study showed that if mink cannot perform their favourite activity of swimming, natural in their wild territory, they release stress hormones.
    (Mason GJ et al., Frustrations of fur-farmed mink. Nature, 1st March 2001, 410: 35-36)

    Routine Mutilations

    The routine mutilation of laboratory animals for identification purposes causes not only unnecessary suffering, but further serves to desensitise those who should be caring for them. One commonly used method is to punch holes through the ears of conscious rodents.
    (J. Versteeg, (1985) A Colour Atlas of Virology, p.85)

    Various combinations of holes are used to indicate different numbers. For example rat number 97 in a particular laboratory had six separate holes punched through its small ears and rat number 597 would have nine such mutilations.
    (Documents: Animal Psychology, Bethlem Royal Hospital. Numbering System for Rats.)

    This cannot be compared with human ear piercing, where thin, sharp hygienic needles are used, along with local anaesthetic. A more accurate comparison would be having a large nail hammered through one’s ear lobe, or using a hole punch (for file paper) to pierce the ear, or slice off its edges.

    Tails, and even toes, may be cut off, using scissors, to identify the animals.
    (Empirical evidence: video, photographs, witness statements: NAVS)

    Over a decade ago, the UK government’s advisory body, the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) advised that ear punching of livestock at market should be stopped.

    Experiments at the University of Heidelberg showed that rats would not choose to live in laboratory cages.
    (Burke, 1988)

    __________________________________________________________________

    Additional Notes and References to support the bullet-point statements made in the NAVS press release (above):

    1. M. D’Arbe, R. Einstein, and N. A. Lavidis ‘Stressful animal housing conditions and their potential effect on sympathetic neurotransmission in mice’. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol Vol. 282, Issue 5, R1422-R1428, May 2002.

    2. Moberg GP (2000) Biological responses to stress. In: ‘Biology of Animal Stress: Implications for Animal Welfare’ (Moberg GP, Mench JA, eds). Oxon: CAB International, pp 1-21

    3. Wemelsfelder F, Birke L (1997) Environmental Challenge. In: ‘Animal Welfare’ (Appleby MC, Hughes BO, eds) Oxon: CAB International, pp 35-47

    4. All these three points are reiterated in ‘Improving housing conditions for laboratory mice: a review of ‘environmental enrichment’, Anna S. Olsson, & Kristina Dahlborn, Laboratory Animals (2002) 36, 243 -270.

    5. The RSPCA carried out a survey in 2002, involving 28 institutions and 137 people across the UK, on ‘Recognising and assessing pain, suffering and distress in laboratory animals’. It showed that “the overwhelming majority of respondents (97%) assumed that animals did or may experience adverse effects to some extent, either during the procedures that they conducted as part of their projects or as a result of those procedures. 82% said that they routinely presumed that adverse effects are present in animals following experiments.

    6. Balcome J. P., Barnard, N., Sandusky, C (2004) Laboratory Routines Cause Animal Stress. Contemporary Topics – American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. 43: 6 p42-51

    7. Animal Protection Act 1911 prohibits causing pain and distress to animals; the Government’s Animal Welfare Bill, due to receiving Royal Assent in 2006, will prohibit the kind of impoverished husbandry found in many laboratories; the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 licences the inflicting of pain and suffering on animals; categories of pain and suffering are mild, moderate, substantial. The cost-benefit assessment for a project licences weighs the cost in animal suffering against the potential benefits from the product or procedure (e.g. benefit to humans).

    8. Medical Hypotheses Volume 60, Issue 2 , February 2003, Pages 284-289
    Are laboratory animals stressed by their housing environment and are investigators aware that this stress can affect physiological data? Meera Jain and Ann L. Baldwin:-

    • “Most respondents agreed that environmental factors are stressful to laboratory animals (97%) and minor pain/stress causes physiological changes (62%).”
    • “Plous and Herzog [1] found that almost 70% of the protocols reviewed involved experiments on vertebrate animals undergoing some degree of pain and stress (22.7% minor pain and stress, 42.7% significant pain and stress, 4% intolerable pain and stress).”
    • “The pilot survey had a response rate of 29/49 (59%). The results indicated that the majority of respondents were in agreement with the following statements:
    • Artificial noise, such as from cage washers, can be stressful to animals (76%).
    • Stress in animals affects the outcome of research (93%).
    • Environmental factors, such as housing conditions, can be stressful to laboratory animals (97%).
    • Minor pain/stress causes physiological changes in an animal (62%).”

    9. Applied Animal Behaviour Science Volume 86, Issues 3-4 , June 2004, Pages 261-289. From house mouse to mouse house: the behavioural biology of free-living Mus musculus and its implications in the laboratory. Naomi Latham and Georgia Mason:-

    • “The physical and social environment and behaviour of wild mice differ greatly from those of laboratory mice.”
    • “The potential impact of these many differences and restrictions on laboratory mouse development, normalcy and welfare has only begun to be explored.
    • “Our review confirms the likelihood of all these issues as potential causes of poor welfare, but also prompts a number of new hypotheses. Many social factors, for example, might decrease welfare. These include having no choice in dispersal age or strategy, and being exposed to auditory and olfactory cues from mothers following ‘weaning’, yet with direct contact impossible. Mice may find it aversive to be housed with unfamiliar, same-sex adults, and laboratory housing provides little opportunity for escape from aggressive encounters, or the odours and vocalisations of potentially threatening conspecifics. Finally, welfare may be reduced through the inability to choose mates or parental strategy. Thus understanding the lifestyle of free-living mice generates new ideas for research that could improve welfare in research establishments.”
    • “Physiological and anatomical measures of brain structure and function show the potential impact of housing laboratory mice in barren, unstimulating environments.”
    • “As we have seen, mice are a remarkably adaptable species, but despite this ability to adapt, their welfare and normalcy may well be compromised in laboratory units, their natural behavioural biology suggesting many diverse reasons for this.”

    10. Stereotypies and other abnormal repetitive behaviors: Potential impact on validity, reliability, and replicability of scientific outcomes. Garner JP. Source: ILAR Journal 46 (2): 106-117 2005.

    • “Captive environments may interfere with these behavioral responses, and the resulting stress may alter many physiological parameters.”

    11. Ethical and welfare implications of the acquisition and transport of non-human primates for use in research and testing. Author(s): Prescott MJ, Jennings M. Source: ATLA 32: 323-327 Suppl. 1A, June 2004 .

    • “Assessment of the ethical and welfare implications of any laboratory animal use should encompass the entire life-history of the animals concerned, including their acquisition and transport. This is particularly important in the case of non-human primates, because the acquisition of some species involves capture from the wild, inadequate husbandry, and/or lengthy, multistaged travel from the country of origin to the laboratory where they are used. Thus, non-human primates endure considerable harms even before they reach the laboratory.”

    12. http://www.psyeta.org/hia/vol8/wemelsfelder.html
    Animal Boredom - A Model of Chronic Suffering in Captive Animals and Its Consequences For Environmental Enrichment. Françoise Wemelsfelder.

    • “Millions of laboratory animals are presently housed in small, extremely barren cages, in which opportunities for species-specific interaction with the environment are largely absent.
    • Generally speaking, animals housed in a barren environment show an overall decrease in interaction with the environment.”

    13. Title: Cage sizes for Tamarins in the laboratory. Author(s): Prescott MJ, Buchanan-Smith HM. Source: Animal Welfare 13 (2): 151-158. May 2004
    “For animals used in the laboratory, the environment can be an additional source of suffering and distress.”

    14. Balcome J. P., Barnard, N., Sandusky, C (2004) Laboratory Routines Cause Animal Stress. Contemporary Topics – American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. 43: 6 p42-51

    • Handling effects can significantly alter an animal’s immune status – either enhancing or compromising and could have important methodological implications
    • The data suggests that significant fear, stress and possibly distress are predictable consequences of routine laboratory procedures, and that these phenomena have substantial scientific and humane implications for the use of animals in laboratory research.
    • Limited data in non human primates suggests that routine handling causes alterations in a number of physiologic parameters indicative of stress

    © National Anti-Vivisection Society