December 7, 2012
The lab animal community is dedicated to providing the highest level of care to lab animals. We strive to provide social and environmental enrichment to all the animals in our care and we always minimize pain and distress during any procedures that might cause these things to occur. For those of us in this profession, it is distressful to euthanize a lab animal for which there is no need for the tissues from that animal after death. Until recently, there have been no appropriate placement options for retired lab animals, especially those that may present a danger to humans such as nonhuman primates. This has all changed with the official opening of the Retirement Sanctuary for Laboratory Animals. The reason this is so exciting to all of us is that Jackie has a proven track record of being skilled behaviorist for the duration of her scientific career. She was expert in training animals to perform complex cognitive tasks using reward instead of restriction. She was far ahead of the regulations regarding environmental enrichment and even provided a play cage for the monkeys under her care during the research years. Now her passion is directed at providing that same level of attention to lab animals eligible for retirement. For years, I have provided consulting services for various animal sanctuaries. I have visited Jackie’s sanctuary on several occasions and the find the facilities exceed those of most other sanctuaries, as does the care. Her experience and dedication is reflected in the behavior and physical condition of the animals. In addition to my personal endorsement, it should be noted that a USDA representative, during a question and answer session at a recent conference, cited this sanctuary as a recommended alternative for the care of retired nonhuman primates. This sanctuary provides the excellent retirement care for laboratory animals that they deserve for all their years of service to humankind. It is an exciting development for all of those who care about the welfare of the lab animals.
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MY ROLE:Professional with expertise in this field