Culture of Care (CoC)
Defining a culture of care in an animal research facility is a complex task given the number of roles and responsibilities of stakeholders involved. Animal welfare and the welfare of individuals is critical. It is essential that the appropriate policies and procedures are in place and the management of processes and resources are prioritised. How academic and research staff work collaboratively with Named Persons and technical support provided, ultimately strengthens the welfare of the animals and scientific output. Remaining compliant, going above and beyond government regulation and protecting the reputational risk of the organisation are contributing factors of demonstrating a good culture of care. The AWERB has a responsibility of supporting Named Persons in carrying out their role and promoting the culture of care by championing the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of the use of animals in scientific research. However, by introducing two additional 'R's, Responsibility and Respect incorporates the significant link between the animal and all stakeholders, identifying the organisational behaviour expected. Working collaboratively as one team to achieve the same goal, ensuring stakeholders understand each other's roles and responsibilities is essential.
The University of Leicester has defined their culture of care in an animal research facility and translated their findings into ten organisational practices.
It is important to recognise the contribution of our Technical Staff in support of biomedical research. Each year we celebrate this by participating in the Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) Technician Month. March 2021 has been very different, however this was celebrated by acknowledging 'A Day in the Life of an Animal Technician'.