In the wake of crippling economic and environmental disasters, the biomedical research community is challenged to keep focused on lab animal welfare. It is only natural for people whose livelihood is threatened to make themselves and their personal welfare the primary priority. Forced to cut budgets and reduce staff, managers are being forced to put profits first without regard for individual needs of people. So we are forced to ask where the species-specific needs of research animals fit in the over-all scheme of things?
Happily, there are a few enlightened companies like Novo Nordisk that care about bioethics, sustainability and the provision of enriched environments for all species—including humans. Check out their website to read well-articulated position statements on issues of relevance to their business and role as a global corporate citizen- http://www.novonordisk.com/sustainability/default.asp
These forward-thinking folks are so transparent and secure in the knowledge that they are doing the right thing in the right way for the right reason that they even list names and contact information to further public engagement. Among their many statements about the use of animals in research, the following reflect the need for integrating EE standards into every aspect of the R&D process.
• Novo Nordisk supports the principles of the Three Rs (Reduce, Refine and Replace) and is integrating these principles in all our processes and procedures.
• Novo Nordisk supports high animal welfare standards in relation to the housing, care and use of experimental animals and will house the animals according to their needs, provide appropriate training and socialisation of the animals.
Be sure to read the feature article by Jan Lund Ottesen, DVM, PhD, DipECLAM, Vice President and Head of Laboratory Animal Science at Novo Nordisk, in this issue. He clearly illustrates how environmental enrichment is good for the animals, the staff, science and the all-important bottom line. Very interesting, isn’t it?
Jayne Mackta, Publisher
President & CEO, Global Research Education & Training, LLC (GR8)