LAVA Position Statement on the Use of Animals in Research

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LAVA Position Statement on the Use of Animals in Research

Postby PLF » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:52 am

The Laboratory Animals Veterinary Association (LAVA) is composed of veterinary surgeons with a keen interest in the health, welfare and care of laboratory animals.

LAVA fully supports the principles of the 3Rs within animal research. These comprise:
  • Replacement of the use of live animals within research wherever possible by the use of valid non-animal methods;
  • Reduction in the numbers of animals used within studies to the minimum that will produce reliable results that are of acceptable quality;
  • Refinement of methods and procedures where animals are used within research so that these are the least harmful possible that deliver the results needed.
Many advances in human and veterinary medical care, in conservation and environmental protection, and in our fundamental understanding of biological processes in health and disease have occurred through the use of animals in research. Veterinary surgeons use the products of this research, including animal vaccines, medicines and surgical procedures, as part of their daily routine for the treatment or prevention of disease in animals. Eventually, LAVA would like to see all research work that currently has the potential to cause pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm in animals being replaced by other methods.

The majority of LAVA members are employed as Named Veterinary Surgeons (NVS) at research establishments. The training, knowledge and skills of veterinary surgeons within these contexts mean that they are uniquely placed to promote animal welfare by giving informed help and advice on ways to provide environments that are comfortable for the types of animals used and in refining scientific methods to cause least impact, for example by minimising and treating any potential pain. LAVA members provide information and support to animal technicians who look after the animals on a day-to-day basis, to scientists engaged in research and to those responsible for managing research.

Under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act each institution using animals in research is legally required to have an Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) in place and the NVS plays an essential part in this process to achieve good welfare and science:
  • Advising on best possible animal welfare and making informed assessments on the potential suffering of an animal and how this could be minimised;
  • Assisting the researchers to identify the likely adverse effects of planned procedures and advise on how those effects can be mitigated or prevented;
  • Considering the possible harms and potential benefits of the use of animals in studies to ensure that this use is ethically justified;
  • Being involved in the education and training of those in carrying out animal research.
As long as animals are being used to advance science, LAVA believes laboratory animal veterinarians have a pivotal role in promoting high standards in the use, care and welfare of animals used in scientific procedures, and the Association will continue to work within the laboratory animal field to inspire best possible animal health and welfare.
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