Conclusion

The emphasis in this chapter is on research animal facilities required to support contemporary biomedical research, but it must be noted that sound management of the facilities is at least equally important. Control of some of the environmental factors noted in Figure 8.1 requires properly designed facilities, but all require sound management. The better the facility is designed to facilitate sound management, the lower the cost of animal care and the more likely environmental variables will be adequately controlled. It is theoretically possible for good management to overcome design features contrary to efficient management, but even the best management cannot overcome human nature, which dictates that if a routine task is difficult to do, it will guarantee that it will not be routinely done. A properly controlled environment for research animals means more reliable and reproducible research, thus reducing the number of animals required to achieve the research goals. Good facility design and sound management facilitates high-quality contemporary biomedical research, sound research economics and, most importantly, humane care and use of laboratory animals.

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