Regarding the article "New Animal Care Guide Leaves Details To Scientists' Discretion" (R. Finn, The Scientist, July 22, 1996, page 1): Although it was mentioned that scientists who are experts in animal care agree that the new guidelines are a real improvement over the old ones, there needs to be more emphasis on the following positive aspects of performance-based approaches:

  1. Animal welfare is an art, as Thomas Wolfle said in the article, and the art requires education and training.

  2. Scientists who are very familiar with experimental animals understand their needs much better than a person or agency that prescribes and attempts to regulate without intimate, long-term experience.

  3. Biologists, for the most part, have a reverence for life that extends over the range from bacteria, plants, and invertebrates to higher mammals. This guarantees that the scientist will use the great care in treatment.

  4. Scientists also have other reasons...

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