The meeting of representatives from various countries and organizations was extremely valuable for assessing differences in their guidelines and regulations governing adequate veterinary care for laboratory animals. There seem to be several distinct approaches to the oversight of laboratory animal health and related issues: one approach assigns major responsibility to the veterinarian and animal care staff (e.g., in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and Singapore), one puts the onus on the investigator using the animals (e.g., Japan, China), and one relies on the oversight of animal ethics committees (Australia, New Zealand). These differences in requirements may have signifi cant effects on the training and education of laboratory animal veterinarians. In the context of conducting animal research on a global basis, the differences in responsibilities of veterinarians, and associated differences in the defi nition of adequate veterinary care for laboratory animals, may hamper the ability of institutions to ensure the uniform care of these animals across international boundaries. We hope that the elucidation of these differences serves to encourage further meetings to foster harmonization of these guidelines. The creation of an International Association of Colleges of Laboratory Animal Medicine (IACLAM) is the fi rst attempt by veterinarians around the world to develop a platform for communication among those who specialize in this fi eld and to explore harmonization of training standards. The ILAR conference "Animal Research in a Global Environment - Meeting the Challenges" (September 2008, Washington DC), cosponsored by IACLAM, offered another opportunity to bring the animal research community together to discuss how these differences might be resolved over time, and to recommend ways to bring about that harmonization to ensure that animals are under the care of those who can best assess and promote their health and welfare.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)