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WINN ANNOUNCES NEW HUMANE USE OF ANIMALS GUIDELINES

Mar 31, 2015

Winn Feline Foundation

Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
Executive Director
888-963-6946, extension 702
Media Info

Steve Dale, CABC
Media Contact and Winn Board Member
773-895-8696
Media Info

For Immediate Release

Wyckoff , NJ, March 31, 2015: Winn Feline Foundation is proud to publish the latest update to our Humane Use of Animals Guidelines for Winn-funded research. Board President Glenn Olah DVM, PhD, DABVP (Feline), says, “Winn’s Board of Directors and Scientific Advisors recently reviewed and updated Winn’s published commitment to the well-being and compassionate treatment of all animals used in health research. We believe these revised dynamic guidelines take a firm stand representing the best thinking of both animal welfare advocates and researchers on this complex subject.”

Humane Use of Animals Guidelines
Revised March 2015

Winn Feline Foundation (Winn) is dedicated to funding scientifically sound, relevant, and humane studies that specifically address the health and well-being of cats.  All studies receiving funding must follow Winn’s Humane Use of Animals Guidelines, which were written to ensure that each and every animal involved in a Winn-supported project receives compassionate care throughout the study.

Winn will not fund projects that require euthanasia as an endpoint or the induction of disease or injury except in extremely rare cases.  A rare case exception may be made if it is demonstrated to the Winn Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Group that the anticipated results from the study are of potentially overwhelming significance for improving feline health that such means are justified, and meaningful information can be obtained in no other way.   Such studies will be accepted only with a super-majority of two-thirds vote of the Winn Board based on recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Group, exceeding the typical majority rule as done for other studies.  As a general rule, Winn does not look favorably on such requests.

Winn considers humane euthanasia acceptable when an animal develops unanticipated illness or injury that results in pain and suffering that cannot be alleviated with standard methods.

Winn will not fund any project that induces or allows unnecessary pain or distress, other than short-term minor pain or distress that can be controlled by appropriate anesthetics, analgesics, and/or nursing care.  Any Winn-funded project must include precautions to ensure that short-term, minor pain and distress are limited.

Winn discourages health studies that require unnecessary invasive procedures.  If an animal is used in an invasive study, Winn may require a guarantee (with the principal investigator and institutional signatures) that the animal will not participate in any future invasive study.  Winn does not look favorably upon inclusion of ancillary data in Winn-supported research that includes animal use protocols not in agreement with our guidelines, even if it is obtained using other funding sources.

1. A description of biological samples, tissues, etc. that will be used and where and how they will be acquired.

2. If the project involves live animals, the following should be addressed:

a. Winn requires that all funded proposals have the approval of their Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), or equivalent review committee before funding dispersal

b. Provide details of the species of animal involved and justify the number of animals to be used in the project

c. Explain how the animals will be acquired (e.g., client-owned, USDA licensed breeder, institutional colony, etc.) and verify that the animals are suitable for the study (i.e. have no physiologic, physical, or pharmacologic issues that would interfere with the results)

3. If the project induces disease, injury, pain or distress, the following must be addressed:

a. The experimental design must be defended

b. Information must be provided on the nature of the pain, injury or distress and how it will be controlled and treated

c. Demonstrate that the results anticipated from the project would have such critical significance for improving feline health that such means are justified

d. Justify that no alternative can be used to accomplish the project objectives (i.e. alternative models have been thoroughly evaluated)

4. If an invasive procedure is requested, then the following must be addressed:

a. The experimental design must be defended

b. Information must be provided on the nature of the invasive procedure

c. Demonstrate that the results anticipated from the project would have such critical significance for improving feline health that such means are justified

d. Justify that no alternative can be used to accomplish the project objectives (i.e., alternative models have been thoroughly evaluated). Examples of permissible procedures include those standard, yet invasive, medical procedures, such as laparoscopic or endoscopic biopsy.

5. Explain the environment and housing conditions in which the animals will live (e.g., address appropriate exercise, enrichment needs, socialization, veterinary care, space requirements, ambient temperatures, ventilation, etc.)

6. Describe the disposition of the animals upon completion of the project:

a. If adoption, explain the adoption process and what will happen to animals that   cannot be placed in homes

b. If euthanasia, provide the following additional information:

i.   Justify that no alternative can be used to accomplish the project objectives

ii.  Total number of animals that will be euthanized and justification for numbers

iii.  Method of humane euthanasia

iv.  Demonstrate that the results anticipated from the project would have critical significance for improving feline health that such means are justified

c. If animals have been purchased specifically for a Winn-funded study, adoption is the preferred disposition at the end of the project whenever possible. Euthanasia or transfer to another research project or program will require the consent of the Winn Feline Foundation.

© Copyright 2015 Winn Feline Foundation

Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat  health. Since its founding, Winn Feline Foundation has funded over $5 million in health research for cats at over 30 partner institutions world-wide. For further information, go to www.winnfelinefoundation.org.

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