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Clinical/Behavioral Monitoring of Rodents and Rabbits Undergoing Scientific Experiments

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2024.145007, PP. 91-109

Keywords: Monitoring, Humane Endpoints, Animal Welfare, Experimental Design, Laboratory Animals’ Investigations

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Abstract:

Background: We currently have international and national guidelines regarding the assessment and monitoring of clinical signs and humane endpoints in animals used in teaching and research, which make the performance of these activities mandatory for any experiment and professional working in this area. Assigning the severity of a research experiment is the result of an analysis of records of observations of the animal’s behavior, and clinical signs. The aim of this study was to describe the importance of carrying out a severity assessment associated with clinical and behavioral monitoring of rodents and rabbits during experimentation to maintain the welfare of these animals undergoing scientific research. Methods: The literature search was carried out using the following terms: “Monitoring”; “Humane endpoints”; “Animal welfare”, “Rodents”; “Rabbits”, and as connectors “and”; “or”, in the following databases: PubMed; LILACS/BIREME and SciELO. Results: A total of 987 articles were identified in the databases, and 20 of these studies were included in this review. Conclusions: Humane endpoint protocols and procedure severity tables are of the utmost importance, both from an ethical point and to refine the results of research conducted on laboratory animals. They should be drawn up jointly by the teams responsible for the project and the maintenance of the animals during the research period, and the data obtained should be published so that the scientific community can have access to it, helping to disseminate these practices, as well as helping to draw up new procedures. Monitoring and evaluating the welfare and clinical condition of animals undergoing scientific research procedures is the responsibility of the professors, researchers, veterinarians, and animal facility coordinators. The Ethics Committee on the Use of Animals must monitor all the activities conducted with the animals, by inspecting the experimental procedures and the physical environment of the laboratory animal facility where the animals are housed.

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