Monday, 17 June 2013
University of Edinburgh's Animal Welfare Symposium - held in the Chancellor’s Building on the 5th June
As part of the ongoing work of the local Animal Welfare Committee, the 2nd Animal Welfare Symposium was held in the Chancellor’s Building on the 5th June in collaboration with the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.
The event -sponsored by Laboratory Animals Ltd.- was a success, with over a 100 delegates, including animal technicians, scientists, lab animal vets and Home Office Inspectors. The programme covered aspects of all the 3Rs.
Dr. Nichola Brydges (Edinburgh University) discussed animal emotions and the challenges involved in assessing affective state in rodents. She presented her own work on cognitive bias, a test which measures “optimistic” vs. “pessimistic” choices when presented with an ambiguous stimulus.
The next speaker, Dr. Will Shu (Heriot Watt University) described his ongoing programme of work to develop engineered liver tissues using human embryonic stem cells and 3D printing technology, as a potential alternative for toxicology testing.
A former Home Office Chief Inspector, Dr.Derek Fry, provided an excellent overview of experimental design principles, common mistakes and assumptions. Particularly useful was the discussion on different types of experimental design and how they impact on reduction and refinement.
Prof. Dominic Wells (Royal Veterinary College) summarised the techniques and welfare implications of the most commonly used genotyping and identification methods in GA mice. His talk concluded with a lively discussion on welfare issues associated with methods of early identification, which contributed to the participative atmosphere of the day.
The Symposium was brought to a close with the presentation of the Laboratory Animal Welfare and Alternatives Prize, awarded by The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education. This year there were 6 outstanding entries split over the two categories for the best poster, presented by an animal technician or a scientist, describing innovations in the context of replacement and animal welfare.
For the animal technician category the £ 500 Prize was awarded to two technicians for their poster describing work on improving animal welfare by making use of non-invasive techniques to detect oestrous in rats. The technique has a clear potential as a refinement over other methods and is particularly useful for reducing the number of animals that are used. The winner in the scientist category presented work describing a significant reduction technique developed for use in mice used in laboratories. The tetraploid complementation assay results in up to a third of the number of mice used.
Congratulations to the prize winners and many thanks to all sponsors and organisers for a very successful event.