Greetings from Shanghai.
I am writing this message from China where I am working with 22 eager college students planning to pursue careers in laboratory animal science. Happily, we don’t need translators to help us understand their love of animals and their desire to learn as much as they can about the role of animal welfare in advancing the science. Our professional trainers introduced the concept of environmental enrichment on the first day of class in the context of encouraging species-typical behaviors, tying efforts to decrease stress with increasing the integrity of the research data.
It may be the jetlag or the view from the other side of the world, but we don’t quite “get” the message behind the words of “Environmental Enrichment of Laboratory Rodents: The Answer Depends on the Question” (Vol 61, No 4, 2011, Pages 314-321). The abstract for this article, which appeared in the August issue of Comparative Medicine, can be found on page 30. Perhaps the choice of the term “so-called” to qualify enrichment of the cage environment for rodents threw up an immediate reading roadblock.
We will leave it to our readers to comment on the article.
We encourage members of the research community to weigh in on the questions raised as well as the conclusions reached. Perhaps our website can serve as a home for a meaningful discussion among professionals that will advance our understanding of the considerations raised by the authors.
Jayne Mackta, Publisher
President & CEO, Global Research Education & Training, LLC (GR8)