Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Horsham, United Kingdom

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Horsham, United Kingdom
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Hawkins P.,Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals | Golledge H.D.R.,Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
Journal of Neuroscience Methods | Year: 2017

Rodents, particularly rats and mice, are the most commonly used laboratory animals and are extensively used in neuroscience research, including as translational models for human disorders. It is common practice to carry out scientific procedures on rats and mice during the daytime, which is the inactive period for these nocturnal species. However, there is increasing evidence for circadian and light-induced effects on rodent physiology and behaviour which may affect the validity of results obtained from mice and rats in neuroscience studies. For example, testing animals during their inactive periods may produce abnormal results due to cognitive deficits, lack of motivation to perform the task or stress from being disturbed during the resting period. In addition, conducting procedures during an animal's resting period may also pose an animal welfare issue, as procedures may be experienced as more stressful than if these were done during the active phase.In this paper we set out the need to consider the impact of time of day and lighting conditions, when scientific procedures or routine husbandry are performed, on both the welfare of mice and rats used in neuroscience research and on data quality. Wherever possible, husbandry and experimental procedures should be conducted at times of day when the animals would be active, and under naturalistic lighting conditions, to minimise stress and maximise data quality and translatability. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Lilley E.,Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals | Armstrong R.,Huntington Life science | Clark N.,University College London | Gray P.,Animals in Science Regulation Unit | And 7 more authors.
Shock | Year: 2015

This report aims to facilitate the implementation of the Three Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement) in the use of animal models or procedures involving sepsis and septic shock, an area where there is the potential of high levels of suffering for animals. The emphasis is on refinement because this has the greatest potential for immediate implementation. Specific welfare issues are identified and discussed, and practical measures are proposed to reduce animal use and suffering as well as reducing experimental variability and increasing translatability. The report is based on discussions and submissions from a nonregulatory expert working group consisting of veterinarians, animal technologists, and scientists with expert knowledge relevant to the field. Copyright © 2015 by the Shock Society.

Vandenabeele S.P.,University of Swansea | Shepard E.L.,University of Swansea | Grogan A.,Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals | Wilson R.P.,University of Swansea
Marine Biology | Year: 2012

Current guidelines for instrumenting birds state that external devices should not exceed 3-5% of the birds' body mass; however, the energetic consequences of carrying any given device mass are likely to vary according to the morphology and ecology of the species concerned. We used a freeware program to estimate the mechanical power requirements of flight at the minimum power speed for 80 species of flying seabird from 8 major groups with payloads of increasing mass. Devices representing 3% of the bird's body mass resulted in an increase in energy expenditure for flight ranging from 4.67 to 5.71% without accounting for the increase in body drag coefficient associated with external devices. This effect differed within and between seabird lineages with members of the Alcidae and Phalacrocoracidae experiencing the highest energetic costs of any increase in device mass. We propose that device effects on seabirds could be further reduced through consideration of species-specific effects of added payload and drag. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Sauer U.G.,Scientific Consultancy Animal Welfare | Phillips B.,Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals | Reid K.,Eurogroup for Animals | Schmit V.,Eurogroup for Animals | Jennings M.,Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals | Year: 2013

Internet searches were performed on projects involving non-human primates ('primates') funded under the European Union (EU) 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7), to determine how project proposals are assessed from an ethical point of view. Due to the incompleteness of the information publicly available, the types and severity of the experiments could not be determined with certainty, although in some projects the level of harm was considered to be 'severe'. Information was scarce regarding the numbers of primates, their sourcing, housing, care and fate, or the application of the Three Rs within projects. Project grant holders and the relevant Commission officer were consulted about their experiences with the FP7 ethics review process. Overall, it was seen as meaningful and beneficial, but some concerns were also noted. Ethical follow-up during project performance and upon completion was recognised as a valuable tool in ensuring that animal welfare requirements were adequately addressed. Based upon the outcome of the survey, recommendations are presented on how to strengthen the ethical review process under the upcoming Framework Programme 'Horizon 2020', while adequately taking into account the specific requirements of Directive 2010/63/EU, with the aim of limiting the harms inflicted on the animals and the numbers used, and ultimately, replacing the use of primates altogether.

Harrington L.A.,University of Oxford | Moehrenschlager A.,University of Oxford | Moehrenschlager A.,Center for Conservation Research | Gelling M.,University of Oxford | And 3 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

Despite differences in focus, goals, and strategies between conservation biology and animal welfare, both are inextricably linked in many ways, and greater consideration of animal welfare, although important in its own right, also has considerable potential to contribute to conservation success. Nevertheless, animal welfare and animal ethics are not always considered explicitly within conservation practice. We systematically reviewed the recent scientific peer-reviewed and online gray literature on reintroductions of captive-bred and wild-caught animals (mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles) to quantify the occurrence of animal welfare issues. We considered monitoring that could be indicative of the animal's welfare status and supportive management actions that could improve animal welfare (regardless of whether the aim was explicitly animal-welfare orientated). Potential welfare issues (of variable nature and extent) were recorded in 67% of 199 projects reviewed; the most common were mortality >50%, dispersal or loss of animals, disease, and human conflict. Most (>70%) projects monitored survival, 18% assessed body condition, and 2% monitored stress levels. Animal welfare, explicitly, was referred to in 6% of projects. Supportive actions, most commonly use of on-site prerelease pens and provision of supplemental food or water, were implemented in 79% of projects, although the extent and duration of support varied. Practitioners can address animal-welfare issues in reintroductions by considering the potential implications for individual animals at all stages of the release process using the decision tree presented. We urge practitioners to report potential animal-welfare issues, describe mitigation actions, and evaluate their efficacy to facilitate transparent evaluation of common moral dilemmas and to advance communal strategies for dealing with them. Currently, comparative mortality rates, health risks, postrelease stress, effectiveness of supportive measures, and behavior of individuals warrant further research to improve animal welfare in reintroductions and to increase success of such projects. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

Main D.C.J.,University of Bristol | Mullan S.,University of Bristol | Atkinson C.,Soil Association | Cooper M.,Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Food Science and Technology | Year: 2014

Certification schemes that aim to provide an assurance on animal welfare have been developed in many countries but there is no internationally agreed mechanism for recognising the equivalence of animal welfare schemes. The lack of standardisation is a complication in international trade as the lack of clarity may impede demand for products from animals reared according to specified levels of welfare. An important first step is to define a credible best practice framework for animal welfare certification schemes that could apply in any country. Schemes may aim to provide assurance on minimum levels of welfare or may also aim to promote welfare improvement within their scheme membership. It is proposed here that certification schemes wishing to make animal welfare claims could adopt a scheme level continuous improvement approach, as already used in quality and environmental certification schemes, to promote improvement at a farm level. It is suggested that this can be achieved by using the following four generic principles. Firstly the scheme can operate a management system that co-ordinates scheme activities which actively promote improvement in animal welfare within participating farms. This management system should include the following generic steps: plan (establish the objectives including desired outcomes, scheme requirements and monitoring processes), do (implement scheme inspection systems and support structures), check (measure and monitor the process and results) and improve (take action to improve performance). Secondly the scheme should develop progressive resources and outcomes requirements that comply with relevant legislation, encourage the provision of opportunities valued by the animals, promote farm level continuous improvement in important welfare outcomes and require innovation not to compromise welfare goals. Thirdly the scheme should target its assessment and support resources on important welfare concerns. Activities should include assessment of relevant welfare requirements and outcomes, promoting interest amongst farmers in their management, ensuring technical advice is available and insisting on remedial action for those farmers with consistent poor outcomes. Finally by taking an evidence-based, participatory and transparent approach the scheme should also embrace external scrutiny and involvement. © 2014 The Authors.

Main D.C.J.,University of Bristol | Mullan S.,University of Bristol | Atkinson C.,Soil Association | Bond A.,Soil Association | And 3 more authors.
Animal Welfare | Year: 2012

Most farm assurance schemes in the UK at least, in part, aim to provide assurances to consumers and retailers of compliance with welfare standards. Inclusion of welfare outcome assessments into the relevant inspection procedures provides a mechanism to improve animal welfare within assurance schemes. In this study, taking laying hens as an example, we describe a process for dealing with the practical difficulties in achieving this in two UK schemes; Freedom Food and Soil Association. The key challenges arise from selecting the most appropriate measures, defining sampling strategies that are feasible and robust, ensuring assessors can deliver a consistent evaluation and establishing a mechanism to achieve positive change. After a consultation exercise and pilot study, five measures (feather cover, cleanliness, aggressive behaviour, management of sick or injured birds, and beak trimming) were included within the inspection procedures of the schemes. The chosen sampling strategy of assessing 50 birds without handling provided reasonable certainty at a scheme level but less certainty at an individual farm level. Despite the inherent limitations within a time and cost sensitive certification assessment, the approach adopted does provide a foundation for welfare improvement by being able to highlight areas of concern requiring attention, enabling schemes to promote the use of outcome scoring as a management tool, promoting the dissemination of relevant technical information in a timely manner and increasing the scrutiny of standards important for the welfare of the birds. © 2012 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare The Old School.

News Article | November 7, 2016

People put random things in their backpacks -- gum wrappers, receipts, scrawled notes. But in a suburb of Brisbane, Australia, a woman tossed a baby koala in her bag. "There are many firsts in our job and last night was one of those," Queensland Police said in a statement. The East Brisbane woman, 50, had already been arrested on unrelated charges Sunday in Wishart when she was asked if she had anything to declare. "The woman handed over a zipped green canvas bag telling officers it contained a baby koala," police said. "Not quite believing their ears the officers cautiously un-zipped the bag and found this gorgeous boy." Police are investigating the woman's claims that she simply found the baby koala, called a joey, and was just trying to take care of it. It was dehydrated but otherwise in good health, the police statement said, and has been given fluids and will be taken to a carer selected by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or RSPCA. The RSPCA dubbed the koala "Alfred," and police are using its cute photos to get the word out that wild animals should not be picked up. "Often the animal may have no obvious signs of injury but it can have internal injuries that need immediate attention." the RSPCA said in the police statement. When last seen, Alfred was apparently trying to log on to the internet.

Hawkins P.,Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Journal of Neuroscience Methods | Year: 2014

Recent revisions to international legislation and guidelines on the care and use of animals in research and testing emphasise the importance of minimising suffering and improving welfare. Achieving this requires effective systems for recognising, recording, analysing and assessing animal behaviour, in order to identify relevant indicators of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm so that any suffering can be rapidly recognised and ameliorated. Behavioural researchers can assist by disseminating information on developments in techniques and approaches for recognising, observing, monitoring, analysing and interpreting behaviour, both within their own facilities and more widely. They can also help to facilitate better welfare assessment by continuing to develop systems for measuring behaviours - including indicators of positive welfare - while also ensuring that harms within behavioural research are minimised. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | November 3, 2016

There are certain things you expect to find in the business end of a vacuum cleaner, like lint, pet hair, dust particles and dried leaves. Then there are things you don't expect to see, like a snake. A Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) animal collection officer discovered exactly that during a house call. A UK couple from York discovered the bright orange snake peeking out of a cupboard. Not knowing if the snake was venomous, the alarmed couple contacted the RSPCA for assistance. It quickly slithered into the vacuum cleaner to hide. ITV quotes RSPCA animal collection officer Lucy Green: "It was quite a surprise to flip the head of the vacuum cleaner over and see the snake's little orange head poking out." At least this was not as frightening as finding a massive snakeskin near a boat launch. The snake turned out to be a 2-foot-long (61-centimeter) non-venomous corn snake. It most likely escaped from a nearby residence. The snake is now in the care of an exotic-animals specialist. If the owner doesn't come forward to claim the slithery fellow within a week, it will be adopted out to a new home.

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