Animal Welfare: Laboratory Animals


Biomedical research leads to better understanding of healthy systems and disorders that occur in people and animals which, in turn, can lead to discovering treatments and ultimately cures that improve the lives of ourselves and the animals around us.  Much of the knowledge can be gained through research using isolated cells or tissues in cultures, or even modeled through computer simulations based upon data previously established from animal studies.  The AVMA promotes the use of these alternatives to the use of animals whenever possible.  However, when necessary, the responsible use of animals in research can provide valuable insight that advances scientific knowledge in ways that are not possible through alternative methods and veterinarians play an important role in that process. 

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Featured Topic: Rat Tickling and Positive Welfare


While it is natural to be concerned about reducing negative experience (such as pain) for animals, providing positive experiences is also important. In some cases positive experiences can actually reduce the impact of stressful events. For example Dr. Sylvie Cloutier found that rats that were tickled first actually exhibited less stress when they received an injection.