Ethology and laboratory animal welfare A better way. Review of Laboratory Animal Husbandry Ethology Welfare and Experimental Variables by Michael W. Fox. Albany State University of New York Press 1986 218 pp $39код для вставкиСкачать
American Journal of Primatology 14:189-192 (1988) BOOK REVIEWS Ethology and Laboratory Animal Welfare: A Better Way Review of Laboratory Animal Husbandry: Ethology, Mlfare and Experimental Variables, by Michael W. Fox. Albany, State University of New York Press, 1986,218 pp, $39.50. Michael W, Fox is a veterinarian and ethologist who is well known for his criticism of many currently accepted animal husbandry practices, such as factory farming of food animals, cosmetic surgery on pets or show animals, and the use of animal subjects to train students in surgical techniques. In this volume, Fox offers a strong critique of current practices in laboratory animal science on scientific, humane, and ethical grounds, without espousing a total ban on the use of animals in biomedical research. In the introduction and first chapter, Fox charges that the paucity of ethological studies of laboratory animals and the inadequate characterization of the environmental histories of experimental subjects reflect a lack of training and interest in the behavior and psychology of laboratory animals by laboratory scientists. In a frequently recurring theme, he notes that many scientists hold a Cartesian or mechanistic view of animals, leading to reductionistic research paradigms that ignore the social, emotional, and environmental influences on health and disease in their experimental subjects. By establishing the relevance of ethological studies of laboratory animals and by showing that the behavioral and psychological well being of laboratory animals is equally important on both scientific and humane grounds, Fox hopes to stimulate interest and concern for laboratory animals and encourage applied research that will improve the care and quality of animals used in biomedical research. Moreover, such research should reduce the number of animals needed and enhance the validity of research findings derived from animal studies. Chapter 2 is a discussion of caging standards and spatial requirements that points out that, in many cases, standards are set arbitrarily and are often based more on economic considerations than on scientific knowledge of the animals’needs. Fox goes on to describe studies documenting the often unpredictable effects of a host of environmental variables, including a) temperature; b) illumination (intensity, wave length, photoperiod, gradual and sudden changes); c) circadian rhythms (temperature, lighting, feeding schedules, cleaning and handling schedules, etc.); d) diet (nutritional adequacy, effects on intestinal flora, contaminants or toxins, recycling of nutrients, ingested drugs or test substances through coprophagy, effects of overnutrition such as obesity, increased incidence of tumors and other diseases, and numerous behavioral effects); e) ventilation and air quality in both cage and room; f) bedding (tactile qualities, absorbent qualities, manipulative potential, contaminants or toxins contained in bedding material, etc.); and g) other substrate variables (musculoskeletal effects, contaminants or toxins). In Chapter 3, Fox continues the 0 1988 Alan R. Liss, Inc. 190 I Alford litany of variables that may be inadvertently introduced into experiments, including the effects of transportation, restraint, handling, treatment, frequency of cage cleaning, weaning age, population density, and isolation. In Chapters 4 and 5, he notes some possible effects of varying degrees of social contact with conspecifics on the behavior and responses of experimental animal subjects. In Chapter 6, he emphasizes the importance of socializing andlor habituating laboratory animals to the people interacting with them. Fox characterizes the effects of social deprivation and isolation (ie, confinement and decreased environmental complexity) as 1)immediate effects on previously social and/or free-ranging animals, 2) long-term effects, and 3) emergence effects as the animal is either returned to a social group or introduced to more complex or social environments for the first time. For more comprehensive reviews of the effects of captivity on nonhuman primates, see Erwin et a1  and Capitanio . In Chapter 7, the extreme importance of the environment is strongly emphasized, and the interaction between genotype and environment to produce the phenotype of a n experimental subject is carefully discussed. In Chapters 2 through 7, Fox lists numerous detrimental effects of confinement and laboratory conditions on the welfare of laboratory animals and on the validity of experimental results. In Chapter 9, he offers convincing evidence and arguments to show the sentience of animals, and he argues that, under given conditions, animals may suffer more than adult humans because, without reason to understand, control, or anticipate the end of unpleasant experimental procedures or conditions, animals may reach a severely depressed state. In addition, animals isolated from conspecifics and not socialized to people have no source of consolation for mediating perceptions of pain and distress. A number of alternatives and improvements t o current practices are provided in Chapter 8, including a) carefully designing ethological experiments to determine the normal physiological processes, needs, and behaviors that have been intensified, suppressed, or otherwise altered by the laboratory environment; b) administering a series of preference tests and carefully evaluating any resulting improvements to the environments of laboratory animals; c) giving the animals tasks to perform and providing rewards for correct responding, thereby offering the animal some control over its environment; d) where feasible, housing animals in groups within seminaturalistic environments; e) preconditioning animals in order to ease the transition to experimental conditions; and f) using purpose-bred laboratory animals rather than random-source or feral animals. The latter suggestion presents a paradoxical problem with perhaps no satisfactory solution. Fox has noted that the restrictive conditions of laboratory rearing typically produce animals that are poorly adaptable and ill-equipped to tolerate changes encountered when subjected to experimental protocols. In order to increase adaptability and reduce stress, he recommends rearing these animals in enriched environments that provide socialization to both conspecifics and people. Fox gives as one major reason for recommending the use of purposebred animals for laboratory research the assertion that random-source animals, such as pound dogs (former pets), are likely to experience greater distress due to the isolation and confinement of the experimental situation. However, is not the socialized, laboratory-bred animals, reared in an enrichment environment, likely to suffer similarly from this transition? The difficulties encountered by Novak and Meyer  and Line  when attempting to address environmental enrichment and psychological well being in laboratory primates suggest that Fox may be overly sanguine in predicting that these approaches will reduce the number of animals used in research. Fox offers a massive literature survey, citing more than 450 references in the reference list or in footnotes within the text. Despite the large number of references, however, there are occasionally undocumented or opinionated statements, some of a Ethology and Laboratory Animal Welfare I 191 startling or controversial nature such as his assertion that “primates sometimes become more difficult to handle when a female caretaker or researcher is menstruating.” Also, investigators trying to go to the original source of cited references may have some difficulty due to several inaccurate citations. In the final two chapters and the appendices, Fox discusses additional ethical and philosophical considerations that are partly compilations of earlier articles or speeches. There is some redundancy in the last sections as well as in the earlier chapters. Also, some of the material is outdated in that several suggestions on the regulation of animal welfare have been or are being implemented. However, some very important concepts are discussed. Fox grants natural or moral rights to animals on the basis of their telos and their sentience; he grants moral rights to animals even though they are not morally autonomous beings capable of understanding the consequences of their actions. They do not possess the rationale exhibited by incapacitated or preverbal humans who are, nevertheless, granted moral rights. Yet while advocating equal consideration for animal rights with those of people, he also states that “it is important to recognize that this does not necessarily imply equal treatment nor that the interests of the animal are accorded the same weight or value as essential human interests. This provides the ethical basis for determining when the killing or harming of an animal is morally justifiable.” He argues that animals should not be harmed or deprived unless such treatment is essential to the fundamental welfare of human beings or other animals. As Burke  pointed out, this type of argument places researchers in the uncomfortable position of justifying their use of animals as a necesary evil. Cohen  and Michael Allen Fox ,both philosophers, do not grant moral rights to animals because nonhuman animals are not morally autonomous beings capable of comprehending their correspondingobligations. Rights are granted to preverbal or incapacitatedhumans through their inclusion in the human moral community. Cohen continues the argument by pointing out that by considering moral distinctions between humans and animals and by utilitarian calculation of past and future benefits for humans and animals, biomedical researchers have a positive moral duty to continue to use animals for their research. Fox would disallow on ethical grounds those studies designed to gain inessential comforts, economic benefits or “knowledge for its own sake” (italics mine). Most scientists would strongly disagree with these restrictions, especially the last, for it is seldom that scientists can predict the ultimate applicability of their work. It is in the nature of science that applicable discoveries are preceded by many small units of knowledge gained painstakingly through basic research, or through research for knowledge’s sake. Ultimately, even though humane treatment is mandated by law and those laws defining humane treatment are continually refined and enforced more vigorously, the quality of animal care and experimentation depends on the day-to-day choices, actions, and interactions of scientists, veterinarians, and animal care personnel. Each scientist must choose the extent to which animals are used for individual studies; this is an extension of the choices forced by daily living. This volume is a “consciousness raising” guide to a large portion of the scientific and philosophical literature on welfare of laboratory animals and, as such, is useful to the scientist wishing to make thoughtful choices. Patricia L. Alford The University of Texas System Cancer Center Veterinary Resources Division, Science Park Bastrop, Texas 192 I Alford REFERENCES Burke, R.E. The ethics of animal research Two views. THE SCIENTIST 1(1):19-22, 1986. Capitanio, J.P. Behavioral pathology, pp 411454 in COMPARATIVE PRIMATE BIOLOGY, VOL. 2A, BEHAVIOR, CONSERVATION, AND ECOLOGY, G. Mitchell; J. Erwin; eds. New York, Alan R. Liss, 1986. Cohen, C. The case for the use of animals in biomedical research. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE 315:865-870, 1986. Erwin, J.; Maple, T.L.; Mitchell, G., eds. CAPTIVITY AND 'BEHAVIOR PRI- MATES IN BREEDING COLONIES, LABORATORIES, AND ZOOS. New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. Fox, M.A. THE CASE FOR ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION: AN EVOLUTIONARY AND ETHICAL PERSPECTIVE. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1986. Line, S.W. Environmental enrichment for laboratory primates. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION 190:854-859,1987. Novak, M.A.; Meyer, J.S. What we don't know about lab animals. THE SCIENTIST 1(2):13,1986.