The rest of the discussion focussed on the contribution that the NACWO can
make to the AWERB. The NACWO is expected to be an active member (see the
IAT’s NACWO Guidelines) and there was a great deal of interest in the AWERB-
UK meeting from NACWOs. In addition to the AWERB, a number of
establishments also had a NACWO meeting to allow free discussion. Several
issues were discussed at the workshop, including:
Training relevant to NACWOs who participate in the AWERB, especially in
statistics and experimental design. This is a major issue within the life sciences
at present and it would be helpful for NACWOs participating in the AWERB to
receive appropriate training in this topic. Some establishments have arranged
for statistics courses or talks for AWERB members. Others have brought in
scientists to provide training on statistics for the AWERB.
Relationships between NACWOs and lay or independent members. Participants
discussed their interactions with various types of ‘lay’ member, including
internal or external (the former being more common, e.g. someone from the
Press Office) and student representatives.
Positive changes that NACWOs had been able to introduce via the AWERB.
These included reducing the number of animals used for practicals, reducing
overbreeding and enabling more animal technologists to take up IAT training
Exchange of NACWOs between AWERBs – the IAT already runs a successful
NACWO exchange programme, involving visits to other facilities but
participants felt that it would also be useful for NACWOs to attend AWERB
meetings at other establishments. It was suggested that this be put to the ASC
and extended to an exchange of all named people between different AWERBs.
Take home messages:
G Be an active participant in the AWERB – it can help you contribute towards
improving both animal welfare and science within your establishment.
G If researchers do not regularly interact with or present to your AWERB, ask
whether this can be initiated.
G If you feel you are not properly supported in contributing to your AWERB,
e.g. if you do not have enough time to review paperwork, raise this with a
sympathetic member of staff.
G Consider what training you might need to help you contribute more
effectively, and ask for it!
G Mentor and support the independent/lay members, if they need it.
G Use the AWERB to request more resources for implementing the 3Rs locally.
G Think about taking part in the NACWO exchange programme and asking
for it to include sitting on the AWERB.