It seems that enrichment is a hot topic. There are so many programs, courses, workshops and articles that we are challenged to keep up.
We can’t think of a better venue to stimulate high-level, informed discussion of enrichment than PRIM&R’s 2012 IACUC Conference. Recently held in Boston, this major gathering of the lab animal research community offered an “Animal Well-being and the 3Rs” track. Among many engaging topics was a session that focused on “The IACUC’s Role in Reviewing and Promoting Enrichment Strategies.” It was no surprise to find that Jennifer Camacho and Christina Winnicker were leading the workshop. They are both well known for their enthusiasm and expertise. Their IACUC focus takes enrichment seriously and raises institutional oversight to a new level.
That same week, the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research (MSMR) had a full house for their annual Laboratory Animal Enrichment Symposium. The workshops covered the gamut of lab species, including zebrafish, mice, rats, free-range rabbits, pigs and dogs. In keeping with the need to promote change in the institutional culture, there
was an intriguing session entitled “Fitting Square Pegs into Round Holes: Tactics for Seemingly ‘Unenrichable’ NHP Biomedical Environments.” Also on the agenda was Natalie Bratcher, 3Rs Scientist and Alternatives Coordinator at Abbott Laboratories, who was this year’s recipient of NJABR’s “Common Pathways” Award. She was recognized for her commitment to seeking alternative methods to advance science and improve animal welfare.
Coming up is the Enrichment Extravaganza at Emory in Atlanta on April 24 and a special Enrichment Section for posters at the Tri-Branch Symposium in Atlantic City in June.
To keep our readers up-to-date, we really need reporters, who can share information and ideas being generated across the country at meetings like those mentioned above. If you are interested in joining our dedicated team of volunteers, just say the word.
Jayne Mackta, Publisher
President & CEO, Global Research Education & Training, LLC (GR8)