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Commentary: A Belmont Report for Animals: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

  • ALKA CHANDNA

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1. Wolfer, DP, Litvin, O, Morf, S, Nitsch, RM, Lipp, HP, Würbel, H. Laboratory animal welfare: Cage enrichment and mouse behaviour. Nature 2004;432:821. See also Mason, G, Rushen, J, eds. Stereotypic Animal Behaviour: Fundamentals and Applications to Welfare, 2nd ed. Wallingford, UK: CABI; 2008; Poole, T. Happy animals make good science. Laboratory Animals 1997:31:116–24; Lahvis, G. Behavior, epigenetics, and the inescapable problem of animal constraint. Behavior Genetics 2018;48:486–7; Balcombe, JP, Barnard, ND, Sandusky, C. Laboratory routines cause animal stress. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science 2004;43:4251; Baumans, V, Clausing, P, Hubrecht, R, Reber, A, Vitale, A, Wyffels, E. FELASA Working Group Standardization of Enrichment Working Group Report . London, UK: Laboratory Animals Ltd; 2006; Olsson, IA, Dahlborn, K. Improving housing conditions for laboratory mice: A review of “environmental enrichment.” Laboratory Animals 2002;36:243–70; and Balcombe, JP. Laboratory environments and rodents’ behavioural needs: A review. Laboratory Animals 2006;40:217–35.

2. Ferdowsian, H, Johnson, LSM, Johnson, J, Fenton, A, Shriver, A, Gluck, J. A Belmont Report for animals? Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2020;29(1):1937.

3. See note 2, Ferdowsian et al. 2020.

4. 7 USC §§ 2131 – 2159 (2002).

5. National Association for Biomedical Research. Mice and Rats; available at https://www.nabr.org/biomedical-research/laboratory-animals/species-in-research/mice-and-rats/ (last accessed 8 May 2019).

6. Public Law 99-158. See also National Research Council Committee for the Update of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th ed. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2011; National Institutes of Health. PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals; 2002; and Office of Science and Technology Policy. U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training; 1985.

7. Pound, P, Nicol, CJ. Retrospective harm benefit analysis of pre-clinical animal research for six treatment interventions. PlOS ONE 2018;13:e0193758.

8. Berdoy, M. The Laboratory Rat: A Natural History. Oxford, UK: Oxford University; 2002.

9. Olsson A, Whittaker A, Martin F, Peron F, De Giorgio F, Mejdell C et al. Guidelines for Ethical Treatment of Animals in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research; available at http://www.applied-ethology.org/ethical_guidelines.html (last accessed 8 May 2019).

10. See note 1, Olsson, Dahlborn 2002.

11. See note 1, Baumans et al. 2006.

12. Bayne, K, Dexter, S, Suomi, S. A preliminary survey of the incidence of abnormal behavior in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) relative to housing condition. Lab Animal 1992;21:3846.

13. Lutz, C, Well, A, Novak, M. Stereotypic and self-injurious behavior in rhesus macaques: A survey and retrospective analysis of environment and early experience. American Journal of Primatology 2003;60:115.

14. See note 13, Lutz, Well, Novak 2003. See also Bayne, K, Haines, M, Dexter, S, Woodman, D. Nonhuman primate wounding prevalence: A retrospective analysis. Lab Animal 1995;24:40–4.; and Bellanca, RU, Crockett, CM. Factors predicting increased incidence of abnormal behavior in male pigtailed macaques. American Journal of Primatology 2002;58:5769.

15. Mason, GJ. Stereotypies: A critical review. Animal Behaviour 1991;41:1015–37.

16. See note 1, Mason, Rushen 2008.

17. See note 13, Lutz, Well, Novak 2003.

18. Novak, MA. Self-injurious behavior in rhesus monkeys: New insights into its etiology, physiology, and treatment. American Journal of Primatology 2003;59:319.

19. Kroeker, R, Bellanca, RU, Lee, GH, Thom, JP, Worlein, JM. Alopecia in three macaque species housed in a laboratory environment. American Journal of Primatology 2014;76:325–34.

20. Baker, KC, Weed, JL, Crockett, CM, Bloomsmith, MA. Survey of environmental enhancement programs for laboratory primates. American Journal of Primatology 2007;69:377–94.

21. See note 20, Baker et al. 2007.

22. See People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Columbia University Cruelty; available at https://www.peta.org/features/columbia-university-cruelty-deadly-animal-experimentation/ (last accessed 8 May 2019); People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Covance: Cruelty for Hire; available at https://www.peta.org/features/covance-incs-cruel-animal-experimentation/ (last accessed 8 May 2019); People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Investigation of ONPRC Reveals Horrifying Abuse of Monkeys Used in Cruel and Useless Experiments; available at https://www.peta.org/features/onprc/ (last accessed 8 May 2019); People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. University of Utah Investigation; available at https://www.peta.org/features/utah-labs/ (last accessed 8 May 2019); and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Litany of Lab Horrors: A PETA Exposé available at: https://investigations.peta.org/university-of-pittsburgh-laboratory-neglect/ (last accessed 8 May 2019).

23. Carbone, L. What Animals Want: Expertise and Advocacy in Laboratory Animal Welfare Policy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2004.

24. The Jackson Laboratory. Find & Order Mice; available at https://www.jax.org/jax-mice-and-services/find-and-order-jax-mice (last accessed 8 May 2019).

25. Stokes, EL, Flecknell, PA, Richardson, CA. Reported analgesic and anaesthetic administration to rodents undergoing experimental surgical procedures. Laboratory Animals 2009;43:149–54.

26. Richardson, CA, Flecknell, PA. Anaesthesia and post-operative analgesia following experimental surgery in laboratory rodents: Are we making progress? Alternatives to Laboratory Animals 2005;33:119–27.

27. Cheng F, Chandna A. Some Animals are More Equal than Others: Implications of the Exclusion of Mice and Rats from the U.S. Animal Welfare Act. Poster presented at 10th World Congress: Alternatives & Animal Use in the Life Sciences; 2017 Aug 20–24; Seattle, WA; available at https://www.peta.org/wc10-poster-mice-and-rats-august-2017_kg/ (last accessed 12 May 2019).

28. At some institutions, violations were repeated, but federal oversight authorities took no meaningful corrective action. Some incidents reflected pain and suffering for many animals. For example, in just one of 60 incidents at the University of Minnesota, 75 rats were used in experimental surgeries but were given no post-operative pain relief. In just one of 53 incidents at the University of Pittsburgh, 83 pairs of mice were surgically joined together via parabiosis without analgesia. In one of 39 incidents at Yale University, a mouse rack with 141 cages was found disconnected from the automatic watering system. Eight mice died from dehydration, another had to be euthanized, and 93 were found hunched and dehydrated. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 11 mice starved when workers did not feed them. At the University of Michigan, tumors in mice were not adequately monitored and were allowed to exceed the protocol endpoint limits—increasing the pain and distress suffered by the animals. A rat who had not been euthanized properly at the University of Michigan was found dead at the bottom of a cooler after having chewed through a bag.

29. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA Investigations Reveal Taxpayer-Funded Torture at UNC Laboratory; available at https://www.peta.org/features/unc/ (last accessed 8 May 2019). Also see note 22, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. University of Utah Investigation; and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Litany of Lab Horrors: A PETA Exposé.

30. Church, RM. Emotional reactions of rats to the pain of others. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 1959;52:132–4. See also Rice, GE, Gainer, P. “Altruism” in the albino rat. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 1962;55:123–5; Langford, DJ, Crager, SE, Shehzad, Z, Smith, SB, Sotocinal, SG, Levenstadt, JS et al. Social modulation of pain as evidence for empathy in mice. Science 2006;312:1967–70; Bartal, IB, Decety, J, Mason, P. Empathy and pro-social behavior in rats. Science 2011;334:1427–30; and Sato, N, Tan, L, Tate, K, Okada, M. Rats demonstrate helping behavior toward a soaked conspecific. Animal Cognition 2015;18:1039–47.

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Commentary: A Belmont Report for Animals: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

  • ALKA CHANDNA

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