Proceedings released for animal welfare workshop

Proceedings from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s workshop on “Discussing and Understanding Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species, and Biodiversity,” held in February 2022, are now available online. That workshop brought together regulators and the regulated community to discuss and understand challenges related to wildlife, non-model species, and biodiversity in research and education.

Ornithological Council Executive Director Laura Bies was part of the planning committee for the virtual workshop. Discussion topics during the two-day online workshop included perspectives on animal welfare considerations; laws, regulations, and permits associated with fish and wildlife; wild animal population concerns; the role of veterinarians in wildlife research; restraint and handling of animals in the field; and transition of wild animals to captive settings.

Recordings from the workshop, as well as PDFs of each speakers’ presentation, are also available at the workshop website.

Dr. William Bowerman, chair of the OC, was selected earlier this year to serve on the new ILAR Standing Committee on Animal Care and Use. That committee will be undertaking a revision or expansion of The Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the February workshop was organized to inform those efforts.  The Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals is published by ILR and is widely applied to research conducted or funded by the federal government. That guidance document is a suitable standard for biomedical research, but it has little information relevant to wildlife research beyond general principles and is therefore not well suited to wildlife work, particularly fieldwork. Through the virtual workshop and other efforts, the OC is partnering with ILAR to assist them in broadening their guidance to better include the realities of wildlife research.