Abstract # 83:

Scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 18 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


MULTI-DIMENSIONAL COST:BENEFIT ANALYSIS TO GUIDE EVIDENCE-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT: PROVIDING BEDDING AND FORAGING SUBSTRATE TO PEN-HOUSED MONKEYS

C. A. Corcoran1,2, V. Hardy3, L. R. Miller2,4, P. J. Pierre1,2 and A. J. Bennett1,2,5
1Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Winston-Salem, NC 27127, USA, 2Innovative Evaluation and Promotion of Evidence-Based Enrichment Program, 3Animal Resources Program, Wake Forest University, 4Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC, 5Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University Health Sciences
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Refinement of animal care and housing is a major shared goal, as well as a challenge, for research, veterinary, and animal care personnel charged with ensuring the wellbeing of laboratory animals. A long-standing literature has validated the beneficial effects of bedding for the welfare of laboratory-housed animals. This study was undertaken to perform an analysis of the feasibility and cost of providing wood shavings as a floor cover for pen-housed monkeys. We addressed two issues central to decision-making and implementation of environmental enhancement: methods for useful and comprehensive cost analysis and evaluation of engineering, husbandry, and facilities considerations. The results of our study illustrate a workable team-based procedure for comprehensive cost analysis of a major environmental enhancement and demonstrate that the animal welfare benefit is accompanied by lower husbandry costs. Another successful outcome was reduction in water [estimated 726.8 kiloliters annually] and chemicals used to clean housing areas. Emphasis on rigorous evaluation and objective measures of cost and benefit, as well as inclusion of the many factors and team members involved in animal research, holds strong potential for building a better foundation from which to contribute improvements in laboratory animal welfare. Together, the findings of this study demonstrate that an integrative, team-based, and scientific evaluation of environmental enhancement is an effective approach to guide improvements in animal welfare.