Introduction. ILAR 43 (1): 001.
[Reviewer's Note - Any parts of this introductory article which recapped specific articles published in this ILAR issue were not reviewed as other LABSG members will be summarizing these articles for the LABSG list.] Relationships between animals and the research people who interact with them are a newly emerging topic. The fact that a "bond" exists between human and animal means that there has been a close and mutually meaningful relationship, but the relationship can come at a cost. In addition to lab animal workers physical risks (i.e. allergy, bites, scratches), there are other "emotional" risks. Ironically, the people who feel deeply are among the best and most devoted to their jobs. Animal caregivers are a key part of the research but often feel alienated. Although there is concern about blurring the distinction between a research subject and a pet (i.e. giving a research animal a name), the inevitable closeness that results from day to day animal-human interactions makes it difficult to avoid forming attachments. Part of this dilemma has been affected by the language in the Animal Welfare Regulations. For instance, the term "psychological well-being" as it relates to nonhuman primate welfare is one such example. Relationships between research personnel and their animals differ greatly. Animal care staff have more opportunities to experience close relationships with the animals than do research technicians. Research animals also have a vast capacity to recognize people and events that they have learned will lead to pleasure or to pain. Researchers, technicians, veterinarians, and care staff are devoted to the humane care and use of research animals and to the search for that day when animals are no longer needed for research.
Development of the human-research animal bond and its impact
on animal well-being. ILAR 43 (1): 004.
Tannenbaum argues that a true bond can only be defined as bidirectional, which he describes as a relationship that benefits both parties and is mutually voluntary. Dog socialization occurs during the sensitive period at ~ 3 weeks of age and peaks at 6-8 weeks. Staats proposes that the "cognitive intent to act in ways directed toward the well-being" of the animals which they define as committment has a significant role in the relationship that develops between a person and an animal. This committment is measured by sustaining the relationship despite personal effort, time, money, and patience. How bonds form: Human-animal bonds are formed when caring for or nurturing patterns are established between human and animals. The dependancy is not unlike that of a child on its parent. The greater the understanding of the animal's behaviour the more likely that the understanding will lead to the development of a bond between human and animals. The longer an animal resides in the facility, the more likely staff will develop a bond with it. The concept of naming lab animals constitutes further evidence of an individual relationship between the animal and staff. Physical characteristics eg appearance, pregnancy, infancy, perceived pain, certain behaviours, result in increased attention from staff members, and individualization of those animals, with the resulting formation of a bond. Training the animals, and staff training on animal behavour is a key to improving job performance and enhancing animal well-being, Talking to the animals in the form of questions- asking how or what it is doing etc can reduce staff stress and halp build the bond. PHS policy principle 4 and AWA NHP enrichment amendment both encourage staff to identfity their own feelings and time towards the animals. Many staff purchsase toys or food treats for lab animals fromthe same stores as their pets, or donate old toys of their childrens. No matter what kind of emotional bond people have with their animals, touch is an essential part of that reationship. Blurring The Line Between Pets and Lab Animals: Occasionally animals have been removed from the facility official inventory and becomes mascots . Lab animal adoption programs exit and portraits of favourite lab animals are often displayed. Impact of this Bond on Animal Well-Being: Result in overall reduction in stress for the animals and may serve to buffer the potential stress of certain experimental situations resulting from the novelty of the procedure area etc. Personnel gain more reward from their jobs.
1) Is the human -animal bond uni- or bidirectional or both?
2) Describe way the bond is formed.
3) When was the AWA amended to mandate NHP enrichment program?
1) Can be both however Tannenbaum argues that it can only be bidirectional so that both parties are involved in the relationship.
2) -Caring/nurturing pattern is established
- Longer the animal resides inthe facility
-Naming the animal ie individualization
-Training the animal
-Ownership of the animal
-Blurring the line B/W research subject and pet (photos/adoption)
Human-Animal Bonds in the Laboratory: How Animal Behaviour
Affects the Perspective of Caregivers. ILAR 43 (1): 010.
Caregivers in animal labs generally find it rewarding and important to increase the comfort of their animals. Most of the respondents to their survey reported a high level of satisfaction in the workplace, however some also mentioned sources of stress. Increasing the positive elements and providing greater support for the challenging aspects of their work can bolster the capability and motivation of caregivers to provide optimal care. Their study findings include: 1) people are attracted by the animals to become caregivers in labs, which points to the importance of providing caregivers opportunities for rewarding interactions with animals. 2) Opportunities that enhance the comfort of the animal & increase the performance of a full range of animal behaviour increase the attractiveness of the species and job satisfaction for the person. 3)The attractiveness of mice is more limited than other species, perhaps partially due to their small size and the requirements of maintaining a barrier facility. 4) Caregivers perhaps would benefit from more evident support resulting from being included in the research project, and being provided options for the stress of euthanasia.
Prediction and preparation: Pavlovian implications of research
animals discriminating among humans. ILAR 43 (1): 019.
A growing body of evidence suggests that animals can discriminate among the humans with whom they have regular contact. The presence of a particular human may signal delivery of an important event, thus allowing the animal to prepare for its occurrence. In Pavlovian terms, humans become "walking conditioned stimuli", eliciting measurable conditioned responses from animal subjects. These responses may modulate the effects of variables under study. Contact with a specific person may be the best predictor of what lies ahead for the animals. It has been demonstrated in 11 different species the ability to discriminate between humans including rats, chickens, llamas, rabbits, sheep, cows, seals, emu, rhea, penguins, and honeybees. The paper describes specific studies conducted to illustrate the above points. Pavlovian conditioneing may also modulate heart rate, blood pressure, activate the immune system, or produce drug tolerance or endorphin release. Animals may directly tie these motivational effects , which easily qualify as uncontrolled variables to the presence of a particulatr person. To determine whether any of these conditioned physiological or motivational effects interfere with or modulate what you are formally studying, it is advisable to vary your lab routine to change the role of the conditoned stimulus person and evaluate whether this change has a measurable impact on your data.
1) Can animals discriminate B/W humans?
2) How do humans become "conditoned Stimuli"?
3) Animals seek pleasure and avoid pain, & this is referred to as ?
4) What is the benefit of Pavolvian responses?
5) How are these responses important to research?
2) Humans signal delivery of important events, thereby causing conditioned responses
4) Prepares animals for what lies ahead
5) Humans can inadvertently alter research by modulating HR, BP, immunity, change drug tolerance etc.
Ethical aspects of relationships between humans and research
animals. ILAR 43 (1): 027.
The different levels of involvement that animal care staff and researchers have in the lives of lab animals can pit technicians against researchers. Ways that research institutions can help individuals cope with the ethical consequesnces of relationships with research animals include the following: supporting the development of human-animal relationships in labs, giving animal care personnel an ethical voice through involvement in the IACUC decison process, publicaly acknowledging the emotional and moral costs of human-lab animal relationships, and educating animal care staff about the purpose and possible benefits of ressearch projects. Normative ethics is t he branch of philosophy that informs us of what we should do based on the rigorous application of logic to sets of fundamental principles. Descriptive ethics involve the study of what people actually perceive to be right or wrong. Characteristics such as gender, hair colour, or how cute an animal is should not count. Deontologists base their ethics on conformity to rationally derived rules rather than on the consequences of an action. Nowhere do they argue or imply that we should treat some animals differently simply because we have special relationships with them. An ethical system in which a creature is afforded enhanced moral status simply because someone happens to form a bond with it violates the principle of impartiality. When animals are accepted as pets, a special set of contractual responsibilities is assumed toward them by their owners or companions, and that accords them special moral status. When an animal is transformed from "object" to "pet" its' moral status is changed.
1) List ways for personnel to deal with the ethical concerns stemming from human-animal bond.
1) Support the formation of bonds in the facility
Allow animal care staff to have voice on IACUC
Have professional discussion groups
Not make people euthanize animals that they have bonded with
Conduct memorial services
Educate staff on purpose and results of the research
Ethical implications of the human-animal bond in the laboratory.
ILAR 43 (1): 033.
The article discusses how the concept of a human-animal bond fits into standard moral theories. The conclusion is that "impartial" theories such as utilitarianism and deontological theories must be supplemented with an "ethics of caring" and that the moral duties engendered by the human-animal bond are best identified with such a supplemental theory. The following criteria are most relevant to define the human-animal bond:
1) It involves a relationship between a human and individual animal. This is not to say that humans cannot form bonds with more than 1 animal, or vice versa. However a human-animal bond does not exist when someone views an aquarium or a mouse colony as a collective.
2) Human-animal bond is reciprocal and persistent. No matter how fond you are of an animal, if it does not recognize you, there is no bond in the strongest sense. Similarly, if you cannot identify a particular chicken from a flock, there is no bond. The notion of recognition (literally, re-cognition) implies multiple instances of contact rather than a single contact to begin establishing that bond. Human-animal bond involves increased trust on the part of the animal and an increased caring and understanding of the animal's needs on the part of the human. Note that although this relationship is reciprocoal (ie both parties involved) it is not necessarily symmetrical.
3) Human-animal bond tends to promote an increase in well-being for both parties.
All three of these conditons are necessary for a fully developed human-animal bond. This consequence suggests that in a colony in which some but not all of the animals are named, there may be differences in levels of care. If all animals are named, it seems to follow that they are more likely to be handled more uniformly. There is an implicit promise between the human and animal as something like" we are friends, therefore you can/should trust me and feel safe with me, and I will treat you as a freind and meet your needs as well as I can" . The "promise" of each party is different therefore the relationship is not symmetrical. It is important to understand that it is the underlying attitude not the actual behaviour of the participants that separates a human-animal bond from other sorts of human animal interaction. To summarize , if we recognize that the complete impartiality and abstractness demanded by many versions of classical ethics is impoverished, a corrective move is required. Any such correction that recognizes the moral significance of personalized relationships between persons will provide ways in which such bonds translate into special moral duties, rights, or privileges. Many of the arguments that justify giving moral significance to friendship will also apply to human-animal bonds. When a Human-animal bond is considered as a type of promise, as suggested above, then severing the bond abruptly and without adequate justification (eg euthanizing an animal merely for convenience) is a betrayal of trust, a broken promise, and a general repudiation of the bond. Researchers must continue to question the barriers that have traditionally been erected against forming human-animal bonds in the name of objectivity and to investigate seriously the ways in which fostering the formation of human-animal bonds can promote animal welfare without compromising the scientifc respectabillity of research.
1) What are 3 criteria of Human-animal bond considered necessary?
2) Is the human-animal bond considered symmetrical?
1) -Relationship forms between individaul animals not groups
- the bond is reciprocal and persistent
-the bond promotes an increase in well-being for both parties.
2) No, because the promise is different for the animals vs human
An additional "R": remembering the animals. ILAR 43 (1): 038.
Religious memorial services for animals in certain areas of the world provide an historical basis for such acknowledgement activities. The
need to establish such events in academic and research settings is discussed in this paper.
Activities, either sacred or secular, can memorialize and acknowledge the animals as well as the connections between humans and animals.
Appreciation for the animals, and the care and consideration provided by those who interact with and care for them, can be strenghthened by these formal events. Acknowledgement of these feelings of attachment enhances the work environment by providing support to personnel , especialy when the animal lives are lost. The relationship between animal and humans in the lab setting as symbiotic. Members of the research team who could be referred to as caregivers provide food, water, shelter, and etc to the animal. The animals in turn, provide data and intellectual stimulation and emotional gratification. One critical and supportive step to assist workers in developing appropriate coping mechanisms is to validate their feelings and the existance of these attachments. Assisting coworkers in difficult tasks such as euthanasia,
maintaining a favoured "mascot" or "pet", and using ruituals for certain events such as euthanizing animals. The implementation of this
additional "R"-remembering the animals -can be an invaluable and rewarding endeavor. The article describes examples of various memorials throughtout the world to honour animals in many services besides research. It describes monuments, poems, inscriptions, stones, services, and prayers that are used. The article then makes suggestions like a granite stone with inlaid plaque, reading of poetry, listing of species and numbers used in the past year, artwork, group activites like planting a tree, photographs of favourite animals, making a video, and various ceremonies. They suggest that sponsorship be organized to ensure the annual event will continue in the institution beyond the initial ceremony. They also suggest that it is important when planning a service to focus on the specific objectives and goals of the planned event, and more importantly clarify those objectives and goals that are not. A plan must include a means to accomplish the desirable and to avoid the ndesirable.