2014 Webinar: Laboratory Animal Enrichment

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Overview

Current industry trends and expectations place a high priority on the importance of species-specific psychological well-being as a routine part of the animal care and use program. The ongoing challenge for animal care and use programs is how to remain compliant with a variety of relevant regulations and guidelines, including the requirements for enrichment in the Animal Welfare Act and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, without compromising scientific study integrity.

Investigators who lack training in animal behavior may underestimate the importance of enrichment as it pertains to animal well-being, and consequently, restrict or eliminate enrichment from their animal use proposals due to concerns about negative scientific impact on their studies. For example, social housing may be met with resistance due to the possibility of fighting, the impact on food consumption data, or interference with surgical sites. Food enrichment and foraging substrate may be perceived to introduce novel variability to study data or prompt concerns over caloric intake. In fact, in many instances, elimination or reduction of opportunities for animals to express species-specific behavior can negatively impact a variety of physiologic parameters and may result in stressed animals and/or skewed scientific data. Some of these parameters include, but are not limited to, impacts on hematology results, cardiovascular telemetry data, and food consumption.

This webinar addressed the importance of environmental enrichment through a discussion of:

  • How the absence of enrichment can negatively impact animal well-being and result in study complications
  • Strategies to integrate enrichment proposals with individual study specifications
  • The institutional animal care and use committee’s (IACUC’s) role and responsibility in educating investigators about environmental enrichment

Audience
This intermediate-level webinar was of interest to IACUC administrators, coordinators, members, and staff, as well as other compliance personnel, researchers and research staff, and veterinarians.

Faculty

Genevieve Andrews-Kelly, BS, LATG, is the animal care and use coordinator and primate behaviorist at Huntingdon Life Sciences in East Millstone, NJ. In her role as primate behaviorist, Genevieve has direct responsibility for the oversight of the enrichment and Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT) program for all species and directs the daily implementation of enrichment procedures. She has been a member of the IACUC for seven years. Genevieve is founding member of the editorial board of the Enrichment Record. She has facilitated workshops and presented on enrichment and PRT at TriBRanch, IACUC Charge and Challenge, the Enrichment Extravaganza, as well as authored and coauthored articles on laboratory animal enrichment. Genevieve is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of attendance for the Laboratory Animal Enrichment: Bridging Compliance with Science webinar were made available at the conclusion of the webinar. To access the certificate, you must first complete the online evaluation. Such certificates are useful for obtaining continuing education (CE) credits (not Continuing Medical Education credits) from professional associations. Note that guidelines concerning CE credits may differ, and you should consult the appropriate professional association representative for further guidance.

CE Credit for Certified Professional IACUC (CPIA®) Recertification
Webinar participants holding the CPIA credential who wish to apply credits from Laboratory Animal Enrichment: Bridging Compliance with Science toward CPIA recertification may submit the Certificate of Attendance they received upon completing the online evaluation as documentation of their participation. Participation in this 60-minute webinar counts as 1.0 CE credit hours.

Additional information about CPIA recertification can be found here.