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Bigger Rodent Cages Suggested

Rodent researchers fear that meeting the new minimum cage size guidelines for breeding animals could be too costly.

By | January 20, 2012

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, SEWERYN OLKOWICZ

The eighth edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, published last year, calls for new size requirements for cages with litters, and researchers worry that compliance will be costly, Nature reported. The new guidelines, which apply to breeding mice and rats, state that  rat mothers and their pups should receive a minimum of about 800 square centimeters (125 square inches) of floor space, with single adult getting about 450 square centimeters. For mice, 330 square centimeters are recommended for a mouse litter, and 97 square centimeters for adults weighing over 25 grams. Though previous editions did not explicitly outline minimum cage size requirements, researchers see the new guidelines are a significant step up from current US practices.

Some researchers have reacted with consternation, calculating that meeting the requirements could increase their rodent care budgets by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Bob Adams, interim associate provost for animal research and resources at Johns Hopkins University, told Nature that he estimated an increased of $300,000 if he bought the extra racks to comply with the minimum requirements. Institutions, not just individual researchers, would also be adversely affected, argued Joseph Thulin, director of the Biomedical Resource Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who projected over half a million in costs associated with expanding facilities to meet the new space demands.

However, the guidebook’s authors at the US National Academies and National Institutes of Health officials argued that the guidelines are merely starting points and are open to interpretation by each institution as necessary. The NIH has already adopted the new guide in its own facilites, and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International is implementing the new standards as well.

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Avatar of: Gordon Kelley

Gordon Kelley

Posts: 2

January 20, 2012

Instead of "this is too expensive, we can't afford it", I wish the response was more along the lines of "I'm glad we're finally doing something to decrease the suffering of these conscious beings we experiment on. It's great to see acknowledgment that they need a reasonable amount of space to live normally. We will find a way to fund this because the quality of life of our experimental animals is important." 

Avatar of: goatman7702

goatman7702

Posts: 1

January 20, 2012

"...finally doing something to decrease the suffering of these conscious beings..."? Gordon, your statement shows an ignorance to all the changes in animal care that have been progressively introduced and required over the decades. And what evidence is there that the previous space recommendations resulted in any "suffering" and that the new recommendations would result in any relief from "suffering"? Please do some homework.

January 20, 2012

The new guidelines are not supported by any data, and indeed there is evidence that mice do better at higher densities see the following peer reviewed papers that were ignored.

Breeding animals:
> 1.  Lab Animal (2009) Whitaker et al.   "Pups raised in large cages weighed less than those raised in standard cages..... . Though being raised in enriched or large cages did not clearly improve pups' performance in behavioral tests, enrichment (regardless of cage size) did significantly benefit reproductive performance; pups from non-enriched cages weighed less than pups from enriched cages, and fewer survived to weaning age."
>
> 2.  Lab Animal (2007) Whitaker et al.  "The authors examined the effect of cage size on mouse breeding performance and on offspring behavior, which can serve as indications of overall well-being. They housed breeding trios of C57BL/6Tac mice in standard or large individually ventilated cages and measured four reproductive parameters: litter size; litter survival to weaning age; average pup weight at 7, 14 and 21 days; and the number of days between litter births. .....Cage size had no significant effect on any of the reproductive parameters measured and few or inconsistent effects on behavior in weaned pups."
>
> General housing:
> 1.  "Floor space needs for Laboratory Mice:  BALB/cJ Males or Females in Solid-Bottom Cages with Bedding" (2001)  McGlone et al.  Contemporary Topics  http://www.aalas.org/pdfUtilit...
> From abstract, "Among male mice, limited floor space did not significantly influence growth rates, but male mice given 32.3 cm2/mouse had less mortality than did mice given more space.  We conclude that floor spaces as limited as 32.3 cm2/mouse did not cause behavior, health, immune or performance problems for BALAB/cJ mice."
>
> 2.  "Effects of housing density and cage floor space on three strains of young adult inbred mice." (2005)  Smith, AL et al.  Comp Med.  Aug 55(4)368-76.  "Some recommendations in the Guide... are based on best professional judgment.  Our current efforts are directed toward replacement with data-driven standards.  (looked at BALB/cJ, NOD/LtJ and FVB/NJ).  We conclude that all but FVB/NJ male mice can be housed with half the floor space specified in the Guide."
>
> 3. "Effects of housing density and cage floor space on C57BL/6J mice." (2004).  Smith AL et al.  Comp Med.  Dec 54(6)656-63.  "On the basis of these results, we conclude that C57BL/6J mice as large as 29 g may be housed with 5.6 in2 of floor space per mouse.  This area is approximately half the floor space recommended in the Guide.  ....Our data suggest that current policies be altered in order to provide the optimal habitation conditions matched to this species' social needs."

January 20, 2012

It's funny how these "conscious beings" we
experiment on have been doing just fine for decades with minimal intervention.
Conversely, new animal care policies that have mandated more frequent cage
checks, changes, the loss of wire cages, etc. have been paralleled with an
increase in cannibalization (by these conscious beings..).

At any rate, this is a very poor article as it does not
provide any scientific evidence in support of making these changes, and does
not delve into the rationale for these changes in sufficient depth. When NIH
moved away from wire cages, it was initiated by a very poorly done paper
showing "some" rats developed sores from standing on wires for too
long. The percentage was ridiculously low, but we ended up needlessly lining
the pockets of these animal “careâ€쳌 companies in the name of compassion. This
incredible burden on institutional finances didn't abolish animal research, it
just made it a lot more expensive and that meant there was less money to spend
on other things; like teaching students to formulate rationale and logical
arguments.....

Avatar of: jlese

jlese

Posts: 1

January 20, 2012

How about adding elevators too?

Avatar of: ssum

ssum

Posts: 28

January 20, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: How do you judge "doing just fine"? See "Laboratory animal welfare" reference below.

Perhaps you could provide references to "increased cannibalization", etc., i.e. scientific evidence.

Cannibalism is generally a result of stresses. What were the increased stresses if in fact there is increased cannibalism? -i.e. offer a scientific approach. Then we can
use our creativity to manifest more effective compassion instead of deprecating it.

What is the "ridiculously low" percentage (i.e. let us judge that)?

Compassion should be the guiding principle in which it provides direction for the "precautionary principle".

To goatman7702: What evidence is there that previous space requirements and indeed current conditions as a whole did/do not result in "suffering" or distorting of optimum mental and physical comfort of these conscious beings.

Some articles in previous TheScientist issues and other journals (url provided) with relevant comments; these are indicative rather than exhaustive:

US Suspends New Chimp Research
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Finally, a concrete step in recognizing the complex cognitive and emotional natures of chimps, at least. Other countries were ahead of us.

Rise of the Apes  We Must Care for the Minds We Create
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "...there is a difference between saying “should science try to do X?â€쳌 and “how can we study X in an ethical manner?â€쳌....."I argue that Caesar’s enhancement and that Caesar himself are ethical, but that the treatment of Caesar by every non-ape in the film (save Charles) is unethical and based on fear, arrogance, willful ignorance, and naiveté. Yes, that means that not only are the obvious villains in the wrong, but so are the other humans in Caesar’s life." -Kyle Munkittrick, Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Master’s in bioethics and critical theory, New York University.
     Although mice do not have Caesar's `enhancements" in every other way these reflections are valid. We must (at the very least) provide the very best care for the creatures we presume to use.

Laboratory animal welfare: Cage enrichment and mouse behaviour
http://www.nature.com/nature/j...
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "Mice housed in standard cages show impaired brain development, abnormal repetitive behaviours (stereotypies -sic) and an anxious behavioural profile, all of which can be lessened by making the cage environment more stimulating."
     Finally, documentation of what was `obvious' to many of us who have worked with lab animals. One day we will say "finally," we evolved the observation into a culture of compassion.

Animal suffering unknowable?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     ..."our methods for detecting pain in animals are flawed." -Jeff Mogil, pain researcher at McGill University in Montreal.

I regret that I did not have time to comment in a timely manner on the two recent articles in TheScientist: "From Test Tube to Hypodermic Needle" and "Avoiding Animal Testing." There were many thoughtful responses in support of animal experimentation but which pretty much entirely lacked reference to the testimony of eminently qualified representatives of that part of human nature that abjures animal experimentation and lacked reference to healing modalities that are/were extremely effective against a very wide range of illness and lacked reference to supporting a moral argument, rather than a priori assuming one.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

Instead of "this is too expensive, we can't afford it", I wish the response was more along the lines of "I'm glad we're finally doing something to decrease the suffering of these conscious beings we experiment on. It's great to see acknowledgment that they need a reasonable amount of space to live normally. We will find a way to fund this because the quality of life of our experimental animals is important." 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

"...finally doing something to decrease the suffering of these conscious beings..."? Gordon, your statement shows an ignorance to all the changes in animal care that have been progressively introduced and required over the decades. And what evidence is there that the previous space recommendations resulted in any "suffering" and that the new recommendations would result in any relief from "suffering"? Please do some homework.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

The new guidelines are not supported by any data, and indeed there is evidence that mice do better at higher densities see the following peer reviewed papers that were ignored.

Breeding animals:
> 1.  Lab Animal (2009) Whitaker et al.   "Pups raised in large cages weighed less than those raised in standard cages..... . Though being raised in enriched or large cages did not clearly improve pups' performance in behavioral tests, enrichment (regardless of cage size) did significantly benefit reproductive performance; pups from non-enriched cages weighed less than pups from enriched cages, and fewer survived to weaning age."
>
> 2.  Lab Animal (2007) Whitaker et al.  "The authors examined the effect of cage size on mouse breeding performance and on offspring behavior, which can serve as indications of overall well-being. They housed breeding trios of C57BL/6Tac mice in standard or large individually ventilated cages and measured four reproductive parameters: litter size; litter survival to weaning age; average pup weight at 7, 14 and 21 days; and the number of days between litter births. .....Cage size had no significant effect on any of the reproductive parameters measured and few or inconsistent effects on behavior in weaned pups."
>
> General housing:
> 1.  "Floor space needs for Laboratory Mice:  BALB/cJ Males or Females in Solid-Bottom Cages with Bedding" (2001)  McGlone et al.  Contemporary Topics  http://www.aalas.org/pdfUtilit...
> From abstract, "Among male mice, limited floor space did not significantly influence growth rates, but male mice given 32.3 cm2/mouse had less mortality than did mice given more space.  We conclude that floor spaces as limited as 32.3 cm2/mouse did not cause behavior, health, immune or performance problems for BALAB/cJ mice."
>
> 2.  "Effects of housing density and cage floor space on three strains of young adult inbred mice." (2005)  Smith, AL et al.  Comp Med.  Aug 55(4)368-76.  "Some recommendations in the Guide... are based on best professional judgment.  Our current efforts are directed toward replacement with data-driven standards.  (looked at BALB/cJ, NOD/LtJ and FVB/NJ).  We conclude that all but FVB/NJ male mice can be housed with half the floor space specified in the Guide."
>
> 3. "Effects of housing density and cage floor space on C57BL/6J mice." (2004).  Smith AL et al.  Comp Med.  Dec 54(6)656-63.  "On the basis of these results, we conclude that C57BL/6J mice as large as 29 g may be housed with 5.6 in2 of floor space per mouse.  This area is approximately half the floor space recommended in the Guide.  ....Our data suggest that current policies be altered in order to provide the optimal habitation conditions matched to this species' social needs."

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

It's funny how these "conscious beings" we
experiment on have been doing just fine for decades with minimal intervention.
Conversely, new animal care policies that have mandated more frequent cage
checks, changes, the loss of wire cages, etc. have been paralleled with an
increase in cannibalization (by these conscious beings..).

At any rate, this is a very poor article as it does not
provide any scientific evidence in support of making these changes, and does
not delve into the rationale for these changes in sufficient depth. When NIH
moved away from wire cages, it was initiated by a very poorly done paper
showing "some" rats developed sores from standing on wires for too
long. The percentage was ridiculously low, but we ended up needlessly lining
the pockets of these animal “careâ€쳌 companies in the name of compassion. This
incredible burden on institutional finances didn't abolish animal research, it
just made it a lot more expensive and that meant there was less money to spend
on other things; like teaching students to formulate rationale and logical
arguments.....

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

How about adding elevators too?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: How do you judge "doing just fine"? See "Laboratory animal welfare" reference below.

Perhaps you could provide references to "increased cannibalization", etc., i.e. scientific evidence.

Cannibalism is generally a result of stresses. What were the increased stresses if in fact there is increased cannibalism? -i.e. offer a scientific approach. Then we can
use our creativity to manifest more effective compassion instead of deprecating it.

What is the "ridiculously low" percentage (i.e. let us judge that)?

Compassion should be the guiding principle in which it provides direction for the "precautionary principle".

To goatman7702: What evidence is there that previous space requirements and indeed current conditions as a whole did/do not result in "suffering" or distorting of optimum mental and physical comfort of these conscious beings.

Some articles in previous TheScientist issues and other journals (url provided) with relevant comments; these are indicative rather than exhaustive:

US Suspends New Chimp Research
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Finally, a concrete step in recognizing the complex cognitive and emotional natures of chimps, at least. Other countries were ahead of us.

Rise of the Apes  We Must Care for the Minds We Create
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "...there is a difference between saying “should science try to do X?â€쳌 and “how can we study X in an ethical manner?â€쳌....."I argue that Caesar’s enhancement and that Caesar himself are ethical, but that the treatment of Caesar by every non-ape in the film (save Charles) is unethical and based on fear, arrogance, willful ignorance, and naiveté. Yes, that means that not only are the obvious villains in the wrong, but so are the other humans in Caesar’s life." -Kyle Munkittrick, Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Master’s in bioethics and critical theory, New York University.
     Although mice do not have Caesar's `enhancements" in every other way these reflections are valid. We must (at the very least) provide the very best care for the creatures we presume to use.

Laboratory animal welfare: Cage enrichment and mouse behaviour
http://www.nature.com/nature/j...
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "Mice housed in standard cages show impaired brain development, abnormal repetitive behaviours (stereotypies -sic) and an anxious behavioural profile, all of which can be lessened by making the cage environment more stimulating."
     Finally, documentation of what was `obvious' to many of us who have worked with lab animals. One day we will say "finally," we evolved the observation into a culture of compassion.

Animal suffering unknowable?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     ..."our methods for detecting pain in animals are flawed." -Jeff Mogil, pain researcher at McGill University in Montreal.

I regret that I did not have time to comment in a timely manner on the two recent articles in TheScientist: "From Test Tube to Hypodermic Needle" and "Avoiding Animal Testing." There were many thoughtful responses in support of animal experimentation but which pretty much entirely lacked reference to the testimony of eminently qualified representatives of that part of human nature that abjures animal experimentation and lacked reference to healing modalities that are/were extremely effective against a very wide range of illness and lacked reference to supporting a moral argument, rather than a priori assuming one.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

Instead of "this is too expensive, we can't afford it", I wish the response was more along the lines of "I'm glad we're finally doing something to decrease the suffering of these conscious beings we experiment on. It's great to see acknowledgment that they need a reasonable amount of space to live normally. We will find a way to fund this because the quality of life of our experimental animals is important." 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

"...finally doing something to decrease the suffering of these conscious beings..."? Gordon, your statement shows an ignorance to all the changes in animal care that have been progressively introduced and required over the decades. And what evidence is there that the previous space recommendations resulted in any "suffering" and that the new recommendations would result in any relief from "suffering"? Please do some homework.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

The new guidelines are not supported by any data, and indeed there is evidence that mice do better at higher densities see the following peer reviewed papers that were ignored.

Breeding animals:
> 1.  Lab Animal (2009) Whitaker et al.   "Pups raised in large cages weighed less than those raised in standard cages..... . Though being raised in enriched or large cages did not clearly improve pups' performance in behavioral tests, enrichment (regardless of cage size) did significantly benefit reproductive performance; pups from non-enriched cages weighed less than pups from enriched cages, and fewer survived to weaning age."
>
> 2.  Lab Animal (2007) Whitaker et al.  "The authors examined the effect of cage size on mouse breeding performance and on offspring behavior, which can serve as indications of overall well-being. They housed breeding trios of C57BL/6Tac mice in standard or large individually ventilated cages and measured four reproductive parameters: litter size; litter survival to weaning age; average pup weight at 7, 14 and 21 days; and the number of days between litter births. .....Cage size had no significant effect on any of the reproductive parameters measured and few or inconsistent effects on behavior in weaned pups."
>
> General housing:
> 1.  "Floor space needs for Laboratory Mice:  BALB/cJ Males or Females in Solid-Bottom Cages with Bedding" (2001)  McGlone et al.  Contemporary Topics  http://www.aalas.org/pdfUtilit...
> From abstract, "Among male mice, limited floor space did not significantly influence growth rates, but male mice given 32.3 cm2/mouse had less mortality than did mice given more space.  We conclude that floor spaces as limited as 32.3 cm2/mouse did not cause behavior, health, immune or performance problems for BALAB/cJ mice."
>
> 2.  "Effects of housing density and cage floor space on three strains of young adult inbred mice." (2005)  Smith, AL et al.  Comp Med.  Aug 55(4)368-76.  "Some recommendations in the Guide... are based on best professional judgment.  Our current efforts are directed toward replacement with data-driven standards.  (looked at BALB/cJ, NOD/LtJ and FVB/NJ).  We conclude that all but FVB/NJ male mice can be housed with half the floor space specified in the Guide."
>
> 3. "Effects of housing density and cage floor space on C57BL/6J mice." (2004).  Smith AL et al.  Comp Med.  Dec 54(6)656-63.  "On the basis of these results, we conclude that C57BL/6J mice as large as 29 g may be housed with 5.6 in2 of floor space per mouse.  This area is approximately half the floor space recommended in the Guide.  ....Our data suggest that current policies be altered in order to provide the optimal habitation conditions matched to this species' social needs."

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

It's funny how these "conscious beings" we
experiment on have been doing just fine for decades with minimal intervention.
Conversely, new animal care policies that have mandated more frequent cage
checks, changes, the loss of wire cages, etc. have been paralleled with an
increase in cannibalization (by these conscious beings..).

At any rate, this is a very poor article as it does not
provide any scientific evidence in support of making these changes, and does
not delve into the rationale for these changes in sufficient depth. When NIH
moved away from wire cages, it was initiated by a very poorly done paper
showing "some" rats developed sores from standing on wires for too
long. The percentage was ridiculously low, but we ended up needlessly lining
the pockets of these animal “careâ€쳌 companies in the name of compassion. This
incredible burden on institutional finances didn't abolish animal research, it
just made it a lot more expensive and that meant there was less money to spend
on other things; like teaching students to formulate rationale and logical
arguments.....

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

How about adding elevators too?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 20, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: How do you judge "doing just fine"? See "Laboratory animal welfare" reference below.

Perhaps you could provide references to "increased cannibalization", etc., i.e. scientific evidence.

Cannibalism is generally a result of stresses. What were the increased stresses if in fact there is increased cannibalism? -i.e. offer a scientific approach. Then we can
use our creativity to manifest more effective compassion instead of deprecating it.

What is the "ridiculously low" percentage (i.e. let us judge that)?

Compassion should be the guiding principle in which it provides direction for the "precautionary principle".

To goatman7702: What evidence is there that previous space requirements and indeed current conditions as a whole did/do not result in "suffering" or distorting of optimum mental and physical comfort of these conscious beings.

Some articles in previous TheScientist issues and other journals (url provided) with relevant comments; these are indicative rather than exhaustive:

US Suspends New Chimp Research
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Finally, a concrete step in recognizing the complex cognitive and emotional natures of chimps, at least. Other countries were ahead of us.

Rise of the Apes  We Must Care for the Minds We Create
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "...there is a difference between saying “should science try to do X?â€쳌 and “how can we study X in an ethical manner?â€쳌....."I argue that Caesar’s enhancement and that Caesar himself are ethical, but that the treatment of Caesar by every non-ape in the film (save Charles) is unethical and based on fear, arrogance, willful ignorance, and naiveté. Yes, that means that not only are the obvious villains in the wrong, but so are the other humans in Caesar’s life." -Kyle Munkittrick, Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Master’s in bioethics and critical theory, New York University.
     Although mice do not have Caesar's `enhancements" in every other way these reflections are valid. We must (at the very least) provide the very best care for the creatures we presume to use.

Laboratory animal welfare: Cage enrichment and mouse behaviour
http://www.nature.com/nature/j...
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "Mice housed in standard cages show impaired brain development, abnormal repetitive behaviours (stereotypies -sic) and an anxious behavioural profile, all of which can be lessened by making the cage environment more stimulating."
     Finally, documentation of what was `obvious' to many of us who have worked with lab animals. One day we will say "finally," we evolved the observation into a culture of compassion.

Animal suffering unknowable?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     ..."our methods for detecting pain in animals are flawed." -Jeff Mogil, pain researcher at McGill University in Montreal.

I regret that I did not have time to comment in a timely manner on the two recent articles in TheScientist: "From Test Tube to Hypodermic Needle" and "Avoiding Animal Testing." There were many thoughtful responses in support of animal experimentation but which pretty much entirely lacked reference to the testimony of eminently qualified representatives of that part of human nature that abjures animal experimentation and lacked reference to healing modalities that are/were extremely effective against a very wide range of illness and lacked reference to supporting a moral argument, rather than a priori assuming one.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 21, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: How do you judge "doing just fine"? See "Laboratory animal welfare" reference below.

Perhaps you could provide references to "increased cannibalization", etc., i.e. scientific evidence.

Cannibalism is generally a result of stresses. What were the increased stresses if in fact there is increased cannibalism? -i.e. offer a scientific approach. Then we can
use our creativity to manifest more effective compassion instead of deprecating it.

What is the "ridiculously low" percentage (i.e. let us judge that)?

Compassion should be the guiding principle in which it provides direction for the "precautionary principle".

To goatman7702: What evidence is there that previous space requirements and indeed current conditions as a whole did/do not result in "suffering" or distorting of
optimum mental and physical comfort of these conscious beings.

Some articles in previous TheScientist issues and other journals (url provided) with relevant comments; these are indicative rather than exhaustive:

US Suspends New Chimp Research
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Finally, a concrete step in recognizing the complex cognitive and emotional natures of chimps, at least. Other countries were ahead of us.

Rise of the Apes  We Must Care for the Minds We Create
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "...there is a difference between saying “should science try to do X?â€쳌 and “how can we study X in an ethical manner?â€쳌....."I argue that Caesar’s enhancement
and that Caesar himself are ethical, but that the treatment of Caesar by every non-ape in the film (save Charles) is unethical and based on fear, arrogance, willful
ignorance, and naiveté. Yes, that means that not only are the obvious villains in the wrong, but so are the other humans in Caesar’s life." -Kyle Munkittrick, Institute
for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Master’s in bioethics and critical theory, New York University.
     Although mice do not have Caesar's `enhancements" in every other way these reflections are valid. We must (at the very least) provide the very best care for the
creatures we presume to use.

Laboratory animal welfare: Cage enrichment and mouse behaviour
http://www.nature.com/nature/j...
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "Mice housed in standard cages show impaired brain development, abnormal repetitive behaviours (stereotypies -sic) and an anxious behavioural profile, all of which
can be lessened by making the cage environment more stimulating."
     Finally, documentation of what was `obvious' to many of us who have worked with lab animals. One day we will say "finally," we evolved the observation into a
culture of compassion.

Animal suffering unknowable?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     ..."our methods for detecting pain in animals are flawed." -Jeff Mogil, pain researcher at McGill University in Montreal.

I regret that I did not have time to comment in a timely manner on the two recent articles in TheScientist: "From Test Tube to Hypodermic Needle" and "Avoiding
Animal Testing." There were many thoughtful responses in support of animal experimentation but which pretty much entirely lacked reference to the testimony of
eminently qualified representatives of that part of human nature that abjures animal experimentation and lacked reference to healing modalities that are/were
extremely effective against a very wide range of illness and lacked reference to supporting a moral argument, rather than a priori assuming one.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 21, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: How do you judge "doing just fine"? See "Laboratory animal welfare" reference below.

Perhaps you could provide references to "increased cannibalization", etc., i.e. scientific evidence.

Cannibalism is generally a result of stresses. What were the increased stresses if in fact there is increased cannibalism? -i.e. offer a scientific approach. Then we can
use our creativity to manifest more effective compassion instead of deprecating it.

What is the "ridiculously low" percentage (i.e. let us judge that)?

Compassion should be the guiding principle in which it provides direction for the "precautionary principle".

To goatman7702: What evidence is there that previous space requirements and indeed current conditions as a whole did/do not result in "suffering" or distorting of
optimum mental and physical comfort of these conscious beings.

Some articles in previous TheScientist issues and other journals (url provided) with relevant comments; these are indicative rather than exhaustive:

US Suspends New Chimp Research
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Finally, a concrete step in recognizing the complex cognitive and emotional natures of chimps, at least. Other countries were ahead of us.

Rise of the Apes  We Must Care for the Minds We Create
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "...there is a difference between saying “should science try to do X?â€쳌 and “how can we study X in an ethical manner?â€쳌....."I argue that Caesar’s enhancement
and that Caesar himself are ethical, but that the treatment of Caesar by every non-ape in the film (save Charles) is unethical and based on fear, arrogance, willful
ignorance, and naiveté. Yes, that means that not only are the obvious villains in the wrong, but so are the other humans in Caesar’s life." -Kyle Munkittrick, Institute
for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Master’s in bioethics and critical theory, New York University.
     Although mice do not have Caesar's `enhancements" in every other way these reflections are valid. We must (at the very least) provide the very best care for the
creatures we presume to use.

Laboratory animal welfare: Cage enrichment and mouse behaviour
http://www.nature.com/nature/j...
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "Mice housed in standard cages show impaired brain development, abnormal repetitive behaviours (stereotypies -sic) and an anxious behavioural profile, all of which
can be lessened by making the cage environment more stimulating."
     Finally, documentation of what was `obvious' to many of us who have worked with lab animals. One day we will say "finally," we evolved the observation into a
culture of compassion.

Animal suffering unknowable?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     ..."our methods for detecting pain in animals are flawed." -Jeff Mogil, pain researcher at McGill University in Montreal.

I regret that I did not have time to comment in a timely manner on the two recent articles in TheScientist: "From Test Tube to Hypodermic Needle" and "Avoiding
Animal Testing." There were many thoughtful responses in support of animal experimentation but which pretty much entirely lacked reference to the testimony of
eminently qualified representatives of that part of human nature that abjures animal experimentation and lacked reference to healing modalities that are/were
extremely effective against a very wide range of illness and lacked reference to supporting a moral argument, rather than a priori assuming one.

Avatar of: ssum

ssum

Posts: 28

January 21, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: How do you judge "doing just fine"? See "Laboratory animal welfare" reference below.

Perhaps you could provide references to "increased cannibalization", etc., i.e. scientific evidence.

Cannibalism is generally a result of stresses. What were the increased stresses if in fact there is increased cannibalism? -i.e. offer a scientific approach. Then we can
use our creativity to manifest more effective compassion instead of deprecating it.

What is the "ridiculously low" percentage (i.e. let us judge that)?

Compassion should be the guiding principle in which it provides direction for the "precautionary principle".

To goatman7702: What evidence is there that previous space requirements and indeed current conditions as a whole did/do not result in "suffering" or distorting of
optimum mental and physical comfort of these conscious beings.

Some articles in previous TheScientist issues and other journals (url provided) with relevant comments; these are indicative rather than exhaustive:

US Suspends New Chimp Research
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Finally, a concrete step in recognizing the complex cognitive and emotional natures of chimps, at least. Other countries were ahead of us.

Rise of the Apes  We Must Care for the Minds We Create
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "...there is a difference between saying “should science try to do X?â€쳌 and “how can we study X in an ethical manner?â€쳌....."I argue that Caesar’s enhancement
and that Caesar himself are ethical, but that the treatment of Caesar by every non-ape in the film (save Charles) is unethical and based on fear, arrogance, willful
ignorance, and naiveté. Yes, that means that not only are the obvious villains in the wrong, but so are the other humans in Caesar’s life." -Kyle Munkittrick, Institute
for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Master’s in bioethics and critical theory, New York University.
     Although mice do not have Caesar's `enhancements" in every other way these reflections are valid. We must (at the very least) provide the very best care for the
creatures we presume to use.

Laboratory animal welfare: Cage enrichment and mouse behaviour
http://www.nature.com/nature/j...
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     "Mice housed in standard cages show impaired brain development, abnormal repetitive behaviours (stereotypies -sic) and an anxious behavioural profile, all of which
can be lessened by making the cage environment more stimulating."
     Finally, documentation of what was `obvious' to many of us who have worked with lab animals. One day we will say "finally," we evolved the observation into a
culture of compassion.

Animal suffering unknowable?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     ..."our methods for detecting pain in animals are flawed." -Jeff Mogil, pain researcher at McGill University in Montreal.

I regret that I did not have time to comment in a timely manner on the two recent articles in TheScientist: "From Test Tube to Hypodermic Needle" and "Avoiding
Animal Testing." There were many thoughtful responses in support of animal experimentation but which pretty much entirely lacked reference to the testimony of
eminently qualified representatives of that part of human nature that abjures animal experimentation and lacked reference to healing modalities that are/were
extremely effective against a very wide range of illness and lacked reference to supporting a moral argument, rather than a priori assuming one.

January 24, 2012

To ssum: You should really get out more and see what animal behaviour is like in the wild. Cannibalism is rampant, predators don't care about how the animals are feeling while they are eating them alive, food sources and life itself is uncertain at best. One could argue that our social concious has singificantly changed the organisms we study and impaired our ability to glean relavant information from them. The only way to know for sure will be to conduct millions of tests to compare wild animals with animals in existing cages, and animals in the new cages. Only then could we confident we are doing things right. I challenge all researchers to do this so we can truly know the effects of changing cages on the variables each of us studies.  

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 24, 2012

To ssum: You should really get out more and see what animal behaviour is like in the wild. Cannibalism is rampant, predators don't care about how the animals are feeling while they are eating them alive, food sources and life itself is uncertain at best. One could argue that our social concious has singificantly changed the organisms we study and impaired our ability to glean relavant information from them. The only way to know for sure will be to conduct millions of tests to compare wild animals with animals in existing cages, and animals in the new cages. Only then could we confident we are doing things right. I challenge all researchers to do this so we can truly know the effects of changing cages on the variables each of us studies.  

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 24, 2012

To ssum: You should really get out more and see what animal behaviour is like in the wild. Cannibalism is rampant, predators don't care about how the animals are feeling while they are eating them alive, food sources and life itself is uncertain at best. One could argue that our social concious has singificantly changed the organisms we study and impaired our ability to glean relavant information from them. The only way to know for sure will be to conduct millions of tests to compare wild animals with animals in existing cages, and animals in the new cages. Only then could we confident we are doing things right. I challenge all researchers to do this so we can truly know the effects of changing cages on the variables each of us studies.  

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 27, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: I am very aware of what animal behaviour is like in the wild. You have summarized much of this accurately. Cannibalism per se is something that is still being investigated; it can be demonstrated that often it benefits the species. This summary, commonly expressed, also limits what we can expect from many animals. We study animals as a process of discovery but this is also a process of discovery of their potential. We would say this of humans but it is equally true of animals.

Humans have practice infanticide -which to us I am sure is `unthinkable'- in conditions where community survival is threatened with extinction. War, in particular defensive war, is an extension of this (this is not meant to be a justification of any particular wars but an outside view looking in) as we choose to send out those who will die and the case can be made for some aggressive wars also (also not a `justification'). Infanticide is parallel to some conditions of animal cannibalism. On a more individually appraised basis, one escaping slave mother in the US killed her own child when caught, to prevent the child from  living a life of slavery. One can regard this as noble or as horrendous, depending on the viewpoint. It can be regarded as both noble ("Give me liberty or give me death") and horrendous (that a human being should have been enslaved and pushed to such a choice).

Human behaviour towards other humans in conditions lacking the exigency of survival, species continutation, etc., could also evoke the comment "you should really get out more and see what people are doing to each other." If we were to regard humans as having a conscience and animals not, then in these cases humans are `worse' than animals. These behaviours are equivalent to cannibalism in their evocation of a horrified response but in their essence are worse. Being eaten is a minor consequence of being killed.

For those who regard other humans as having a potential that is worth tapping for their sake and ours, rather than, for example just judging as irremediable those who seriously offend our social contract, they have indeed found, contrary to the more superficial judgments of others, that the incorrigible gang-banger (or whatever) can be transformed into a sincere, loving human being, even better than many in the society around him. This contradiction to superficial judgment can also be noted of other human conditions such as autism.

By judging animals without consideration of their potential we are limiting both our investigative scope as well as limiting them themselves.

Yes, our `socially conscious' treatment of animals, and our treatment of animals that are embedded in society as companions and our treatment of animals that we use in a utilitarian way or in research changes them by those uses.

It is a more ennobling research to find how the way we treat animals can benefit them, avoiding conceptually imposing as fixed even `obvious' limitations which can equally result in a self-fulfilling prophecy as can imposed `great expectations.'

I contend that there is far more to animals (as with humans) than meets the eye, and that there have been those who have delved deeply enough to discover this and function in relation to them in the context of that reality.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 27, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: I am very aware of what animal behaviour is like in the wild. You have summarized much of this accurately. Cannibalism per se is something that is still being investigated; it can be demonstrated that often it benefits the species. This summary, commonly expressed, also limits what we can expect from many animals. We study animals as a process of discovery but this is also a process of discovery of their potential. We would say this of humans but it is equally true of animals.

Humans have practice infanticide -which to us I am sure is `unthinkable'- in conditions where community survival is threatened with extinction. War, in particular defensive war, is an extension of this (this is not meant to be a justification of any particular wars but an outside view looking in) as we choose to send out those who will die and the case can be made for some aggressive wars also (also not a `justification'). Infanticide is parallel to some conditions of animal cannibalism. On a more individually appraised basis, one escaping slave mother in the US killed her own child when caught, to prevent the child from  living a life of slavery. One can regard this as noble or as horrendous, depending on the viewpoint. It can be regarded as both noble ("Give me liberty or give me death") and horrendous (that a human being should have been enslaved and pushed to such a choice).

Human behaviour towards other humans in conditions lacking the exigency of survival, species continutation, etc., could also evoke the comment "you should really get out more and see what people are doing to each other." If we were to regard humans as having a conscience and animals not, then in these cases humans are `worse' than animals. These behaviours are equivalent to cannibalism in their evocation of a horrified response but in their essence are worse. Being eaten is a minor consequence of being killed.

For those who regard other humans as having a potential that is worth tapping for their sake and ours, rather than, for example just judging as irremediable those who seriously offend our social contract, they have indeed found, contrary to the more superficial judgments of others, that the incorrigible gang-banger (or whatever) can be transformed into a sincere, loving human being, even better than many in the society around him. This contradiction to superficial judgment can also be noted of other human conditions such as autism.

By judging animals without consideration of their potential we are limiting both our investigative scope as well as limiting them themselves.

Yes, our `socially conscious' treatment of animals, and our treatment of animals that are embedded in society as companions and our treatment of animals that we use in a utilitarian way or in research changes them by those uses.

It is a more ennobling research to find how the way we treat animals can benefit them, avoiding conceptually imposing as fixed even `obvious' limitations which can equally result in a self-fulfilling prophecy as can imposed `great expectations.'

I contend that there is far more to animals (as with humans) than meets the eye, and that there have been those who have delved deeply enough to discover this and function in relation to them in the context of that reality.

Avatar of: ssum

ssum

Posts: 28

January 27, 2012

To AncientThoughtStreams: I am very aware of what animal behaviour is like in the wild. You have summarized much of this accurately. Cannibalism per se is something that is still being investigated; it can be demonstrated that often it benefits the species. This summary, commonly expressed, also limits what we can expect from many animals. We study animals as a process of discovery but this is also a process of discovery of their potential. We would say this of humans but it is equally true of animals.

Humans have practice infanticide -which to us I am sure is `unthinkable'- in conditions where community survival is threatened with extinction. War, in particular defensive war, is an extension of this (this is not meant to be a justification of any particular wars but an outside view looking in) as we choose to send out those who will die and the case can be made for some aggressive wars also (also not a `justification'). Infanticide is parallel to some conditions of animal cannibalism. On a more individually appraised basis, one escaping slave mother in the US killed her own child when caught, to prevent the child from  living a life of slavery. One can regard this as noble or as horrendous, depending on the viewpoint. It can be regarded as both noble ("Give me liberty or give me death") and horrendous (that a human being should have been enslaved and pushed to such a choice).

Human behaviour towards other humans in conditions lacking the exigency of survival, species continutation, etc., could also evoke the comment "you should really get out more and see what people are doing to each other." If we were to regard humans as having a conscience and animals not, then in these cases humans are `worse' than animals. These behaviours are equivalent to cannibalism in their evocation of a horrified response but in their essence are worse. Being eaten is a minor consequence of being killed.

For those who regard other humans as having a potential that is worth tapping for their sake and ours, rather than, for example just judging as irremediable those who seriously offend our social contract, they have indeed found, contrary to the more superficial judgments of others, that the incorrigible gang-banger (or whatever) can be transformed into a sincere, loving human being, even better than many in the society around him. This contradiction to superficial judgment can also be noted of other human conditions such as autism.

By judging animals without consideration of their potential we are limiting both our investigative scope as well as limiting them themselves.

Yes, our `socially conscious' treatment of animals, and our treatment of animals that are embedded in society as companions and our treatment of animals that we use in a utilitarian way or in research changes them by those uses.

It is a more ennobling research to find how the way we treat animals can benefit them, avoiding conceptually imposing as fixed even `obvious' limitations which can equally result in a self-fulfilling prophecy as can imposed `great expectations.'

I contend that there is far more to animals (as with humans) than meets the eye, and that there have been those who have delved deeply enough to discover this and function in relation to them in the context of that reality.

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