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Suggested Citation:"Workshop Opening Remarks." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species and Biodiversity: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26614.
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Workshop Opening Remarks

On behalf of the workshop planning committee, Anne Maglia (workshop planning committee co-chair and Institute for Laboratory Animal Research [ILAR] Council member) welcomed workshop participants. Maglia said that over the course of the 2-day workshop, participants could expect to hear from an outstanding array of experts in animal welfare, veterinary medicine, wildlife research, and animal welfare policy. She acknowledged and thanked the workshop planning committee members for their commitment to this workshop, especially workshop planning committee co-chair and Standing Committee member Robert S. Sikes. Also, Maglia thanked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies), the ILAR Council, the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use, and the Standing Committee for the Care and Use of Animals in Research. Maglia expressed appreciation for the support of the dedicated National Academies staff team.

Although the presentations were pre-recorded, the speakers were present for the broadcast of their talks, and questions were posted to them in real time through the presentation interface. Members of the Standing Committee moderated a live Synthesis Session at the end of Day One and Day Two in which session moderators highlighted content from their sessions, including some of the most interesting and important questions. The results of this workshop will provide insights for many entities on wildlife research, including the Standing Committee, as they engage with animal research stakeholder communities on the content of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Maglia thanked the workshop speakers, moderators, and participants. Maglia expressed her confidence that the workshop would be transformative for the welfare of wild animals in research and educational settings.

Suggested Citation:"Workshop Opening Remarks." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species and Biodiversity: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26614.
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Research to advance understanding of the ecology and biology of wildlife species is more important than ever as the world confronts issues ranging from biodiversity loss to the emergence of zoonotic diseases. However, the current understanding of animal welfare in research and education has been based on laboratory work with specific domesticated species. Wildlife research represents a starkly different context and with different implications for animal welfare. Wild species that are the subject of research have extremely diverse physiologies and behaviors and live in diverse habitats. This makes it challenging and sometimes impossible for wildlife researchers to follow the recommendations outlined in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC 2011) and other guidelines developed for a laboratory-based, biomedically focused research context.

To explore issues associated with the unique welfare considerations of wildlife research, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (under the auspices of the Roundtable on Science and Animal Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use), hosted a workshop titled Discussing and Understanding Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species, and Biodiversity on February 9-10, 2022. The event, held virtually, included pre-recorded presentations and overarching discussions to explore this topic in breadth and depth. More than 1,800 participants from academia, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations joined the webcast. This proceedings summarizes key topics covered in the workshop presentations and discussions based on transcripts, recordings, and slides from the event.

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