The UFAW 3Rs Liaison Group Research Studentship

Real advances in animal welfare come through a scientific approach. The UFAW 3Rs Liaison Group (formerly the Pharmaceutical Housing and Husbandry Steering Committee (PHHSC)) was a very successful collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, contract research organisations, animal breeders, and animal welfare organisations, founded by UFAW in 1998. Their aim was to fund research likely to lead to practical solutions that advance the welfare of laboratory animals whilst taking into account the practicalities of medical research and testing.

In total, seven animal welfare studentships were funded via the scheme enabling promising graduates to undertake a three-year programme of research leading to a degree at the doctorate level in any aspect of the Replacement, Reduction or Refinement of laboratory animal use. The initiative helped train a future cadre of animal welfare research scientists who have visited and built links with the major companies and organisations involved in pharmaceutical research.

Remaining funds from the 3Rs Liaison Group went towards funding a UFAW Replacement, Refinement and Reduction (3Rs) Award.

UFAW thanks the following organisations, who over the course of the initiative, provided financial or practical support:

  • Aptuit
  • Astra Zeneca
  • Charles River
  • Covance
  • Glaxo
  • Hoechst Roussel Vet
  • Intervet
  • Inveresk Resarch International
  • Medical Reseach Council
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme
  • NC3Rs
  • Novartis
  • Pfizer
  • Rhone Poulenc
  • Roche
  • RSPCA
  • Sanofi - Synthelabo
  • SmithKline Beecham
  • Syngenta

Past projects funded through the scheme:

  1. Ms Rachel Tanner, University of Oxford. Development of mycobacterial growth inhibition assays for early evaluation and gating of novel TB vaccine candidates.
  2. Mr Steven Robery, Royal Holloway College, University of London. Employing the social amoeba, Dictyostelium, as a first pass screen in drug development
  3. Ms Claire Richardson, Newcastle University. Refining research procedures by assessing distress in laboratory rodents.
  4. Ms Anjanette Harris, University of Edinburgh. Stress, sex and memory in laboratory rats.
  5. Ms Verity Bowell, Stirling University. Assessing the practicalities and welfare implications of training laboratory primates.
  6. Ms Kerry Westwood, University of Bristol. Effects of cage size, space allowance, environmental enrichment and their interactions on behaviour, stress, immune function and welfare of laboratory mice.
  7. Ms Shirley Seaman, University of Edinburgh. Development of laboratory rabbit housing: meeting animal and industry needs.

Some publications arising from work carried out by 3Rs Liaison Group Students

Tanner R, O’Shea MK, White AD, Müller J, Harrington-Kandt R, Matsumiya M, Dennis MJ, Parizotto EA, Harris S, Stylianou E, Naranbhai V, Bettencourt P, Drakesmith H, Sharpe S, Fletcher HA, McShane H. 2017. The influence of haemoglobin and iron on in vitro mycobacterial growth inhibition assays. Nature Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 43478. Doi:10.1038/srep43478

Tanner R, O'Shea MK, Fletcher HA, McShane H. 2016. In vitro mycobacterial growth inhibition assays: A tool for the assessment of protective immunity and evaluation of tuberculosis vaccine efficacy. Vaccine. 34(39): 4656-4665. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.07.058  

Tanner R, and McShane H. 2016. Review Article: Replacing, reducing and refining the use of animals in tuberculosis vaccine research. ALTEX Online, first published 26 Sept 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.14573/altex.1607281.

Waheed A, Ludtmann MHR, Pakes N, Robery S, Kuspa A, Dinh C, Baines D, Williams RSB and Carew MA. 2014. Naringenin inhibits the growth of Dictyostelium and MDCK-derived cysts in a TRPP2 (polycystin-2)-dependent manner. British Journal of Pharmacology. 171(10): 2659-2670. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.12443.

Robery S, Tyson R, Dinh C, Kuspa A, Noegel AA, Bretschneider T, Andrews PL & Williams RS. 2013. A novel human receptor involved in bitter tastant detection identified using the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. Journal of Cell Science. 126: 5465-5476http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.136440

Robery S, Mukanowa J, Percie du Sert N, Andrews PLR. & Williams RSB. 2011. Investigating the effect of emetic compounds on chemotaxis in Dictyostelium identifies a non-sentient model for bitter and hot tastant research. PLoS One 6(9): e24439. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0024439

Richardson CA. 2015. The power of automated behavioural homecage technologies in characterizing disease progression in laboratory mice: A review. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 163: 19-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2014.11.018.

Coulter CA, Flecknell PA, Leach MC, Richardson CA. 2011. Reported analgesic administration to rabbits undergoing experimental surgical procedures. BMC Veterinary Research. 7: 12. DOI: 10.1186/1746-6148-7-12.

Miller AL, Richardson CA. 2011. Rodent Analgesia. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice, Analgesia and Pain Management. 14(1): 81-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvex.2010.09.004.

Leach MC, Coulter CA, Richardson CA, Flecknell PA. 2011. Are We Looking in the Wrong Place? Implications for Behavioural-Based Pain Assessment in Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculi) and Beyond? PLoS ONE 6(3): e13347. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0013347

Coulter CA, Flecknell PA, Richardson CA. 2009. Reported analgesic administration to rabbits, pigs, sheep, dogs and non-human primates undergoing experimental surgical procedures. Laboratory Animals. 43(3): 232-238. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1258/la.2008.008021.

Stokes EL, Flecknell PA, Richardson CA. 2009. Reported analgesic and anaesthetic administration to rodents undergoing experimental surgical procedures. Laboratory Animals. 43(2): 149-154.  doi: 10.1258/la.2008.008020.

Leach MC, Allweiler S, Richardson C, Roughan JV, Narbe R, Flecknell PA. 2009. Behavioural effects of ovariohysterectomy and oral administration of meloxicam in laboratory housed rabbits. Research in Veterinary Science. 87(2): 336-347. DOI: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2009.02.001

Harris AP, D'Eath RB & Healy SD. 2010. A cage without a view increases stress and impairs cognitive performance in rats. Animal Welfare. 19(3): 235-241.

Harris AP, D'Eath RB & Healy SD. 2009. Environmental enrichment enhances spatial cognition in rats by reducing thigmotaxis (wall hugging) during testing. Animal Behaviour. 77: 1459-1464.

Healy SD, Bacon IE, Haggis O. Harris AP & Kelley LA. 2009. Explanations for variation in cognitive ability: behavioural ecology meets comparative cognition. Behavioural Processes. 80: 288-294.

Harris AP, D'Eath RB & Healy SD. 2008. Sex differences in spatial cognition are not caused by isolation housing. Behaviour. 145: 757-778

Harris AP, D'Eath RB & Healy SD. 2008. Sex differences, or not, in spatial cognition: acute stress is the key. Animal Behaviour. 76: 1579-1589 

Prescott MJ, Bowell VA and Buchanan-Smith HM. 2005. Training laboratory housed non-human primates, Part 2: Resources for developing and implementing training programmes. Animal Technology & Welfare, 4: 133-148.

Seaman SC, Waran NK, Mason G & D'Eath RB. 2008. Animal economics: assessing the motivation of female laboratory rabbits to reach a platform, social contact and food. Animal Behaviour. 75(1): 31-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.09.031.