Quality of research data
Pain and distress cause changes to the animal’s body systems, either directly or indirectly, and this can increase the variability in your research data. In order to obtain statistically significant results, this would require a group size increase in your study.
If an animal’s welfare is seriously compromised, it may exceed the permitted end-points on the study, or might die unexpectedly.
Implementing the 3Rs
Ensuring good welfare implements refinement, and by avoiding the consequences of poor welfare, animal numbers may be reduced.
The consequences of poor welfare can complicate the way you manage your study – for example infections associated with surgery may require treatment with antibiotics, will cause a major inflammatory response, and can change an animal’s behaviour and alter food and water consumption. All of these complications can make completion of the study difficult, or impossible.
Meeting UK obligations
UK legislation requires you to implement the 3Rs and specifically to avoid unnecessary pain, suffering or distress. Failure to maintain high standards of welfare means we fail to meet these legal obligations.