I am a big fan of your work on risk communication and have been following it for years. I am currently researching best practice for communicating job layoffs, and wondered if you would apply your models to communicating bad news about jobs. For example, would this comment hold true in a job crisis?
Our animal care and use program is located in the United States. Does this mean that we now have to follow ETS for our program to be accredited?
The Council on Accreditation has used all three documents for several years and their adoption by AAALAC International's Board of Directors as primary standards signifies the importance of these performance-based guidelines in the accreditation process. For example, while the Guide is silent on appropriate housing for ferrets, ETS provides excellent guidance which would be useful for institutions around the globe.
ETS may also be used for assessments of programs located outside of Europe that have established an institutional policy to follow this standard in addition to local regulations and guidelines.
AAALAC encourages institutions to make animal care and use determinations based on regulatory and funding requirements, overlaid with a performance approach that enhances animal welfare and quality science. The use of performance criteria as a method to design and manage an animal care and use program was first described in the 7th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals NRCbut was expanded on in the 8th edition of the Guide NRC Even earlier editions of the Guide NRC state that "professional judgment is essential in the application of these guidelines.
While engineering standards specify in detail a method or technique for achieving a desired outcome, they do not provide for interpretation or modification of the technique should an alternative be equally acceptable.
Alternatively, performance standards define the outcome in detail and provide measurable criteria for assessing whether the outcome is achieved. As noted in the Guide, the performance approach "requires professional input, sound judgment, and a team approach to achieve specific goals.
AAALAC International recognizes that engineering standards can serve as a useful baseline for some program elements, but considers the application of sound professional judgment to be critical to a successful and contemporary animal care and use program.
For example, the Guide states that the recommended minimum cage height for rabbits is 16" Department of Agriculture's Animal Welfare Regulations require a minimum of 14" Using the performance language in the Guide that animals "must have enough space to express their natural postures and postural adjustments without touching enclosure walls or ceiling," AAALAC would observe whether the rabbits' ears could be held in an upright position if this was natural for the breed and were not folded over by contact with the cage ceiling.
AAALAC site visitors would give more consideration to the health, welfare and species-typical behavior of the animal than small differences in cage height or size.
In this manner, the performance approach fosters animal welfare and quality science. Will the activities, facilities and program at the contract site be evaluated during our site visit? AAALAC follows animal ownership in terms of defining who is responsible for animals at an offsite program.
In the examples described, your institution has confirmed ownership of the animals; therefore, if the contractor's program is not AAALAC accredited, a description of the animal care and use activities and facilities provided by the contract facility must be included in your AAALAC Program Description.
The contract facility would also be visited during your triennial site visit and contractual agreements must provide for the review of the contracted facility by AAALAC site visitors.
Specifically, you would need to include a detailed description of the relevant portions of the contractor's program e. The site visit team would also evaluate the portions of the contractor's facility ies that are relevant to your animals.
If the contract facility is a significant distance from your main facility, this may have bearing on the site visit logistics, and you should contact the AAALAC International office to discuss the situation.
During the scheduling of the dates of your site visit, the Council member leading the visit must be made aware that contract services are provided off-site by a non-accredited program.
If you initiate a contract with a program that is not accredited between accreditation site visits, this change should be reflected in your Annual Report to AAALAC. If the contractor's program is separately accredited by AAALAC, it will not be necessary to visit that facility during the site visit to your institution.
Also, if your institution does not own the animals, but just owns the data or intellectual property that result from studies or procedures conducted using those animals, AAALAC will not visit the non-accredited site.
Can you clarify this for me? This includes traditional laboratory animals, farm animals, wildlife, and aquatic animals.
Nontraditional animals, inclusive of invertebrate species, are also included where they are relevant to the unit's mission. Also, Council acknowledges the need to evaluate management of invertebrate colonies when those colonies are within a core animal facility and therefore subject to creating, or being subject to, potential adverse influences from activities in adjacent spaces.
Possible areas of evaluation could include: Training of personnel caring for and handling the animals. Husbandry practices, including sanitation, diet, and adequate space especially if contiguous with vertebrate holding areas.
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