Laboratory Animal Science AD 2000
The writer attempts to predict events likely to affect the future practice of Laboratory Animal Science. It is expected the number of experimental animals used will decline over the next decades for several reasons. These include a greater emphasis in research at the cellular, rather than the whole body, level and the redirection of much of the present animal based research of human diseases to man himself as the main experimental subject. This last prediction is based on
an assessment of developments in technology and socio-economic factors whereby knowledge and control of human diseases will be obtained by epidemiological and non-invasive studies of human populations.
The longterrn effects of the economic recession which have affected considerably animal based and other research in most countries, are also considered, as too is the impact of new legislation in some and, overall, the changing attitude of scientists, technicians and the general public on the experimental use of animals.
The consequences of the decline in the number of experimental animals used, the availability of better experimental animals commercially, the recognition of the need for better experimental models and design upon the management of animal houses and the employment of animal technicians is then assessed.
It is concluded that economic and scientific factors will lead to new concepts of animal house design and function. Of critical importance, it is considered, is recognition that the animal technician of the future should be selected, trained and qualified to fulfil an exacting scientific role if Laboratory Animal Science is to be effectively, economically and humanely practised.