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Animal Welfare Assessment

Animal welfare assessments are a critical component of an institution’s animal program. A welfare assessment involves examining the animals to ensure good health and well-being as well as monitoring for any signs of pain, distress, or suffering. It is required under the Animal Welfare Act that daily observations are made (9 C.F.R. § 2.33 (b)(3)(2020)). To complete a welfare assessment, welfare indicators should be identified and established in protocols for the species that you’re working with, so personnel can adequately assess the animals. Use the resources below to learn more about assessing animal welfare and using species specific welfare indicators.

Canadian Council on Animal Care

These 2021 guidelines discuss why we assess animal welfare, idenify welfare indicators, and explain how to record welfare assessments. 

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

This resource provides information about identifying welfare indicators, assessing and reporting actual severity, effective record keeping and review, and staff training.

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

Changes in facial expression provide a reliable and rapid means of assessing pain in animals. NC3Rs provides training manuals, lists of references, and posters of grimace scales developed for the laboratory: