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Welfare assessment: Scientists

Piglets playing with a ball © APHA

In the UK, project licence holders and personal licensees have a legal responsibility to ensure that animal suffering is minimised during all regulated procedures. This includes establishing a specific welfare assessment protocol tailored to the species and procedure, during the project planning stage, as well as being responsible for the monitoring and care of animals used in procedures. It is critical that there is a good understanding of the normal physiology and behaviour of the species (and strain, if appropriate) and of how deviations from normality can affect welfare and provide an indicator that there could be a problem. Animal technologists and veterinarians can provide expert advice to help define welfare assessment protocols and to assist in their application.

Guidance on identifying suitable behavioural and physiological indicators of discomfort, pain or distress, defining appropriate recording systems and setting out effective monitoring protocols can be found in:

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