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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355996

Research Project: Characterize the Immunopathogenesis and Develop Diagnostic and Mitigation Strategies to Control Tuberculosis in Cattle and Wildlife

Location: Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research

Title: Research with agricultural animals and wildlife

Author
item Cox, Rebecca
item Nol, Pauline - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Ellis, Christine - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Palmer, Mitchell

Submitted to: ILAR Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/19/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats and cattle represented 10% of the 820,812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife are becoming increasingly important as growing human and livestock populations expand and the interface with wildlife increases. Good health care of both livestock and captive wildlife in a research setting requires proper management and veterinary care. Regardless of animal species, proper care and management is essential for animal well-being, valid research data, and the health and safety of animal care personnel. Using wildlife in research presents unique challenges as there is generally limited information on wildlife welfare, husbandry, and nutrition; many wildlife species are evolutionarily programmed to conceal signs of illness making assessment of their condition difficult; animals often become excited during handling or transport and care must be taken to avoid injury; attending veterinarians are often not as experienced in the care of wildlife as they are in the care of traditional laboratory animals or livestock; and differences may exist not only in care, but also in methods of euthanasia. These differences are further magnified in the context of wildlife field research. Investigators should work closely with their IACUC to ensure humane animal care. The IACUC is centrally important in providing guidelines relative to ethical use of animal subjects for research, and can be serve as a valuable resource for research accountability.

Technical Abstract: In fiscal year 2016, agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats and cattle represented 10% of the 820,812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife are becoming increasingly important as growing human and livestock populations expand their interface. Optimum health care of both livestock and captive wildlife in a research setting requires proper husbandry, management and veterinary care. Regardless of animal species, proper care and management is essential for animal well-being, valid research data, and the health and safety of animal care personnel. Using wildlife in research presents unique challenges as there is generally limited peer-reviewed research on wildlife welfare, husbandry, and nutrition; many wildlife species are evolutionarily programmed to conceal signs of illness making assessment of their condition difficult; animals often become excited during handling or transport and care must be taken to avoid injury; attending veterinarians are often not as experienced in the care of wildlife as they are in the care of traditional laboratory animals or livestock; and differences may exist not only in care, but also in methods of euthanasia. These differences are further magnified in the context of wildlife field research. The concepts of replace, reduce, and refine are as valid in livestock and wildlife research as in biomedical research, and investigators should work closely with their IACUC to ensure humane animal care. The IACUC is centrally important in providing guidelines relative to ethical use of animal subjects for research, and can be serve as a valuable resource for research accountability.