Toxicology & Animal Welfare at Wickham Laboratories
"Our approach is to listen and understand, we respect the animals and are committed
to providing the highest levels of animal welfare"
All pharmaceutical and medical device products in the U.K. must be tested to comply with current legislation. The law directly referring to Wickham Laboratories is; Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
The welfare of the animals at Wickham Laboratories is central to the ethics of the Toxicology department. Many systems are in place to ensure the daily routines of the animals are structured and regular, to meet their environmental, food & drink and enrichment needs.
Many procedures are in place to ensure the system for the welfare of the animals is in continual working order. The animals have environmentally controlled conditions which are monitored regularly, including; humidity and temperature control to suit the particular species. The animals are provided with appropriate food and water and their environment is enriched with toys and hides, giving them the space they need to relax or play.
The animals come into regular human contact for grooming and nurturing. They are encouraged to play by staff thereby aiding enrichment. The animals also have their own exercise room where they can stretch, run around and socialise with the other animals.
A named Veterinary Surgeon is always available; 24hrs a day, seven days a week. The Vet will make a routine visit to the animals. This is to conduct health checks and to ensure correct running of the facility. In addition, the Veterinary Surgeon is available to provide advice on the animal’s health and welfare, this includes assistance in the assessment of the likely consequences for the animals welfare.
The Wickham Laboratories Toxicology team also have their own Ethical Review Process (ERP), this includes a certificate holder, a named Veterinary Surgeon, Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer (NACWO), a lay member and licence holders.
The group meet to discuss The 3R’s and the welfare of the animals.
As a result of implementing the 3R’s, the amount of animals used in testing, have been reduced by over 50% since early 1990’s. The numbers have been reduced because technologies to conduct testing have been discovered and implemented. For example, Wickham Laboratories are able to offer an in-vitro method, which has replaced the majority of Pyrogen testing.
Here are links to resources which include information on the animal welfare in this country. They also include links to other resources you may find useful.
- UFAW www.ufaw.org.uk
- LASA www.lasa.co.uk
- 3R’s www.nc3rs.org.uk
- Understanding Animal Research www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk
- ABPI www.abpi.org.uk
- Home Office www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/animal-testing
- Animal Research Information www.animalresearch.info
"We are proud of the contribution we make to the world around us and paramount to this is the welfare and care of our research animals"