New Consortium Formed as a Resource to the Biomedical Research/Laboratory Animal Sciences Community

9/18/2020

New Consortium Formed as a Resource to the Biomedical Research/Laboratory Animal Sciences Community

The Veterinary Consortium for Research Animal Care and Welfare (VCRACW or the Consortium) is a newly formed organization consisting of veterinarians appointed by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP), the American Association for Laboratory Science (AALAS) and the Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV). The newly formed VCRACW has the goal to provide professionally written, accurate information on the care and use of research animals and inform the public, lawmakers, and the scientific community about the veterinary care and welfare of these animals.

The Consortium evolved from discussion within the ACLAM Board of Directors, who noted a need for advocacy efforts focused on the specific perspectives of laboratory animal veterinarians. The consortium will not respond to requests/needs that involve government, legislative, or regulatory affairs, except in an ancillary or complimentary manner.  Consortium output is intended to focus on the veterinary care and support aspects of research animals and thereby compliment and support work from other advocacy and scientific organizations, capitalize on the goodwill veterinarians hold with the public, provide accurate information on research animal care and welfare, and positively influence public opinion.of laboratory animal medicine and science.

Consortium members are empowered to act independently, selecting topics and creating “think tank” style opinion pieces that can be shared across the industry, published through partner advocacy organizations and journals, and referenced by writers or news organizations.  Further, the consortium will respond to requests for expert opinion on laboratory animal issues and serve as partners when needed in creating position papers or other documents.   The Consortium will work with scientific and advocacy partners (FASEB, Speaking of Research, APS, NABR/FBR, AMP, etc.) and the AVMA to create alliances and further increase the influence of laboratory animal veterinarians through placement on advisory committees, policy boards, scientific review committees, expert panels, and workshops.

The first Consortium publication, Forced Swim Test (Porsalt Swim Test), has been quoted and made available on the FBR website at https://fbresearch.org/biomedical-research/faq/.   A second document, accepted for publication in JAVMA, provides clarifying definitions of “research animal”, “laboratory animal”, “research veterinarian”, “laboratory animal veterinarian”, and “laboratory animal medicine” to bring clarity to discussions within the broad scope of veterinary work in this field.

Consortium Members:  Stuart Leland (Chair, VCRACW), B. Taylor Bennett, Donna Clemons, John Hasenau, Leah Makaron, Hugh (Chip) Price, Mike Talcott, Jeanne Wallace (ACLAM liaison)



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