We are delighted to have hosted a successful workshop in December 2015 which brought together important stakeholders in the welfare of laboratory-housed dogs to discuss new directions in research. Eighteen attendees represented 10 organisations, including academia, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organisations, the Home Office Animals in Science Unit and the National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs).
The goal of this research project is to engage industry to develop and increase the uptake of best practice in the laboratory-housed dog, with the aim of improving welfare and the concomitant impact on data output. We held this workshop at the outset of our project to ensure that our research will have the greatest impact upon practices within the UK. We were delighted by the response to our project and discussions around our planned site visits to better understand how we can work with industry to improve welfare, deliver staff learning resources to aid with the implementation of dog training protocols and provide on-going resources and support for staff via our forthcoming website. Our aim to develop practical, evidence-based Refinements to regulated procedures will be greatly aided by our increased understanding of the regulated procedures most suitable for Refinement and the practicalities of delivering and documenting change.
This workshop highlighted the need for collaboration between key stakeholders in dog use to ensure open discussions which benefit the welfare of dogs and the quality of the data output obtained from their use. We are excited about the forthcoming research in the Refining Dog Care project and the opportunity we have to improve laboratory-housed dog welfare.