Medical science is still far away from a complete replacement of animal models for safety testing with pharmaceutical products; the complex interactions between all the biological systems in living organisms cannot be completely replicated outside of the body. Animal research is required scientifically, legally and ethically to develop safe and efficacious medicine. With the goal of protecting human life, all regulatory bodies require new medicines to be tested in animals for safety prior to human administration. A large portion of medical science is the result of animal research, and we as researchers have moral and ethical obligations to ensure a good quality of life for research animals.
Since its founding, ITR Laboratories Canada has been committed to ensure the highest possible standard of animal welfare and care. Animal welfare means more than good nutrition and a clean and safe environment, we ensure that all animals used in the facility are cared for in the most appropriate manner to ensure ethical and moral treatment at all times.
Our procedures are guided by the ethical principles of the 3Rs: replacement, refinement and reduction. Wherever possible, alternative models should replace animal models and research methods should be refined to reduce the number of animals used, without subjecting those used to more stressful conditions. The principles of the 3Rs were developed over 50 years ago as a framework for humane animal research. They have subsequently become embedded in national and international legislation regulating the use of animals in scientific procedures.
ITR Laboratories Canada has been CCAC (Canadian Council on Animal Care) and AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care) accredited since 1993 and studies conducted are fully compliant with the GLP (Good laboratory Practice). We have maintained continuous accreditation for over 30 years. The mandate of our in-house animal care committee is to ensure that all studies conducted on behalf of our clients are appropriately reviewed and meet the criteria established by the animal care regulators, our own strict ethical guidelines and the 3Rs. The committee is comprised of veterinary staff, technicians, a community representative, scientists and at least one non-scientific person. This ensures a diversity of opinion and maximizes the opportunity for ethical research.
Environmental enrichment is an animal husbandry principle that seeks to enhance the quality of captive animal care by identifying and providing the environmental stimuli necessary for optimal psychological and physiological well-being. ITR has a multitude of enrichment toys, nesting and foraging materials that are provided for our animals and we will continue to expand our inventory to ensure the best enrichment is given. Toy exchange is performed weekly for dogs and 3 times weekly for Monkeys to ensure continued mental stimulation. Dog and Pig exercise is performed on a regular basis for physical stimulation. Movies are also played for the monkeys on a daily basis and radio is played during the day for large animals.
Veterinary medical care is an essential part of our animal welfare program. Our veterinary care staff is highly trained and licensed in laboratory animal medicine. Both the animal care and scientific staff have the knowledge required to ensure ITR Laboratories Canada meets the highest standard of animal care and follows the Canadian code of conduct. Clients and animal care regulators alike have praised ITR Laboratories Canada for our animal environmental enrichment program and ethical standards.
Veterinary medical care is an essential part of our animal welfare program. Our veterinary care staff is highly trained and licensed in laboratory animal medicine. Both the animal care and scientific staff have the knowledge required to ensure ITR Laboratories Canada meets the highest standard of animal care and follow the Canadian code of conduct; which prohibits anyone from willfully causing animals to suffer from neglect, pain or injury. Clients and animal care regulators alike have praised ITR Laboratories Canada for our animal environmental enrichment program and ethical standards.