OC working with National Academies on animal welfare workshop

Ornithological Council Executive Director Laura Bies has been selected to participate in a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s workshop planning committee for a workshop to be held in early 2022 on “Discussing and Understanding Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species, and Biodiversity.”

The workshop will discuss the animal welfare challenges inherent in wildlife research, and will help inform the next edition of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s Guide for the Care and Use of Animals in Research, one of the primary guidance documents for researcher involving animals. That revision is being led by a new ILAR Standing Committee for the Care and Use of Animals in Research. Dr. William Bowerman, current Vice Chair of the Ornithological Council, is one of 13 members of that standing committee, which is exploring expanding the current guidelines for humane care and use of animals both in traditional “brick-and-mortar” laboratory animal facilities and beyond (e.g., field laboratories and field stations, and terrestrial and aquatic settings under both captive and natural conditions).

The workshop will be held virtually on February 9-10 and will include presentations and panel discussions exploring topics and questions such as:

• enhancing veterinary and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) expertise on the health and welfare of wildlife and biologically diverse vertebrate animal species;

ways to improve the development and evaluation of IACUC protocols on research studies involving wildlife and biologically diverse vertebrate animal species interactions in captive and diverse natural environmental settings;

• the bioethics associated with fieldwork practices and unique considerations for wildlife and biologically diverse vertebrate animal species;

• the regulatory and management challenges associated with wildlife research; and

· the opportunities for enhancing collaborations between IACUCs and researchers studying wildlife;

More information about the workshop is available here.

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