JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In

Summary

Abstract

Introduction

Protocol

Representative Results

Discussion

Acknowledgements

Materials

References

Behavior

Transition of Farm Pigs to Research Pigs using a Designated Checklist followed by Initiation of Clicker Training - a Refinement Initiative

Published: August 21st, 2021

DOI:

10.3791/62099

1Department of Clinical Medicine, AUGUST Centre, Aarhus University
* These authors contributed equally

Refinement of porcine studies is achieved by introducing a standardized checklist and positive reinforcement training using a clicker. This work supports the collection of samples and the conduct of daily chores related to the animals.

Implementation of 3R initiatives is important. To refine the life of laboratory pigs, we focused on the time period prior to inclusion of animals in experiments. We improved the checklist during the development. By using the checklist each individual pig's progress was documented. This aids the caretakers so they remain focused on the actions necessary to socialize the animals and limit the animal's stress and anxiety level. During this phase, the pigs become calm and ready to commence additional clicker training to further limit stress during the experimental period. The pigs will readily allow basic outcome measures to be collected without sedation or fixation.

The protocol is divided in two. First the transition phase that begins as the pigs arrive at the research facility. Introducing treats and gradually closer contact to the caretakers are the first steps. Then, the caretaker introduces actions to be able to touch the head and hind, to mimic e.g. manipulating the ear to take a blood sample or the hind to obtain a rectal temperature. A strong foundation is established in the animal-caretaker relationship and this swiftly minimizes the stress the pigs express after arrival. Secondly, the positive reinforcement training commences to teach the animal how to carry out more complex tasks without becoming stressed. A clicker is introduced as a secondary reinforcer.

Time, structure, education and thorough communication seem to be the most important criteria to succeed in the application of this protocol. In addition to having calm and compliant pigs, the caretakers report that they enjoy the focus they are allowed to give each individual pig, adding to their overall job satisfaction. Having caretakers with a strong commitment, and a focus on the transition progress and welfare of each pig, additionally strengthens the department's Culture of Care.

The principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) discussed by Russell and Burch in 1959, form today's foundation for high ethical standards concerning the use of animals for experimental purposes. In biomedical research facilities engaged in preclinical laboratory animal studies, great importance must be adhered to the refinement principle. "Refinement means any decrease in the incidence or severity of inhumane procedures applied to those animals which still have to be used"1.

A contemporary definition additionally states that refinement is "advancing research into animal welfare by e....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The pigs used to validate the protocol were part of studies approved by The Animal Experimental Council - a national governmental institution evaluating and approving all animal experiments in Denmark. The Council does the ethical review similar to an IACUC.

1. Arrival at the research facility

  1. First, wash the pigs in a designated area to allow a thorough visual inspection. Use an exclusion list to exclude pigs with wounds, ear bites, abscesses, lameness etc., so only animals that a.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Applying the transition phase as described in the protocol's part one allows for a smooth introduction of farm pigs to the research facility. Having calm pigs to work with eases daily chores and enables minor procedures and sample taking to be performed without anesthesia or fixation.

To follow the progress of pigs during the transition phase a checklist (Checklist 1) was developed to mark when individual pigs reach defined steps in their transition. The pigs are scheduled to enter researc.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The implementation of a protocol that includes part one, a transition phase checklist and part two, a consecutive clicker training program is a confirmed success. Introduction and use of a detailed checklist have provided a way to refine the introduction of pigs to the research facility. The structured transition phase furthermore creates a better foundation to train the pigs prior to inclusion in research projects. It has been a positive surprise to notice that the caretakers' commitment to the work increases and th.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Beatrice Tscherning Olesen, Karoline Jakobsen, Tine Bjørnholt Gustafsen, Helena Céline Kjær Byriel and Kira Sonnichsen Graahede are acknowledged for their great efforts, feedback and assistance in designing the checklist and using it in their daily work. Medical illustrator Ken Kragsfeldt is acknowledged for his professional help illustrating figure 3.

....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Wrap, e-power, blå, 7,5cm E-vet A/S, Ole Rømers Vej 26 A, DK-6100 Haderslev 203165B Adhesive wrap used to wrap around the end of a stick to make a target stick. It is an advantage that it can be changed as it will get dirty quite quickly.
Apples Varius Uknown Used as treats
Klikker (Clicker) E-vet A/S, Ole Rømers Vej 26 A, DK-6100 Haderslev TX2289 Clicker used in training

  1. Burch, R. L., Russell, W. M. S. . The principles of humane experimental technique. , (1959).
  2. The 3Rs. National Centre for the Replacement Available from: https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/the-3rs (2021)
  3. Gouveia, K., Hurst, J. L. Optimising reliability of mouse performance in behavioural testing: the major role of non-aversive handling. Scientific Reports. 7, (2017).
  4. Laule, G. E., Thurston, R. H., Alford, P. L., Bloomsmith, M. A. Training to reliably obtain blood and urine samples from a diabetic chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Zoo Biology. 15 (6), 587-591 (1996).
  5. Mills, D., Ledger, R. The effects of oral selegiline hydrochloride on learning and training in the dog: A psychobiological interpretation. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. 25 (8), 1597-1613 (2001).
  6. Arluke, A., Sanders, C. R. . Regarding Animals. , (1996).
  7. Leidinger, C., Herrmann, F., Thone-Reineke, C., Baumgart, N., Baumgart, J. Introducing Clicker Training as a Cognitive Enrichment for Laboratory Mice. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (121), e55415 (2017).
  8. Leidinger, C. S., Kaiser, N., Baumgart, N., Baumgart, J. Using Clicker Training and Social Observation to Teach Rats to Voluntarily Change Cages. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (140), e58511 (2018).
  9. Sorensen, D. B. Never wrestle with a pig. Lab Animal. 44 (2), 159-161 (2010).
  10. . 2019 report on the statistics on the use of animals for scientific purposes in the Member States of the European Union in 2015-2017 Available from: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52020DC0016&from=EN (2020)
  11. Louise, L. C. Target training pigs within an isolation unit (a pilot study. Animal Technology and Welfare. 17 (1), 46-47 (2018).
  12. Ryden, A., et al. Nursing and training of pigs used in renal transplantation studies. Laboratory Animals. , (2019).
  13. Smith, A. C., Swindle, M. M. Preparation of swine for the laboratory. ILAR Journal. 47 (4), 358-363 (2006).
  14. Swindle, M. M., Smith, A. C. . Swine in the Laboratory: Surgery, Anesthesia, Imaging, and Experimental Techniques, Third Edition. , (2016).
  15. Obernier, J. A., Baldwin, R. L. Establishing an appropriate period of acclimatization following transportation of laboratory animals. ILAR Journal. 47 (4), 364-369 (2006).
  16. Kaiser, A. R., Johnson, A. K., Ross, J. W., Selsby, J. T., Stalder, K. J. Independent Study 490A: Positive Reinforcement Training Piglets to Stand in a Container and Follow a Human. Iowa State University Animal Industry Report. 11 (1), (2014).
  17. Sørensen, D. B., Dragsted, N., Glerup, P. Positive reinforcement training in large experimental animals. Altex. 28, 250 (2011).
  18. Lawrence, A. B., Vigors, B., Sandoe, P. What Is so Positive about Positive Animal Welfare?-A Critical Review of the Literature. Animals. 9 (10), (2019).
  19. Jirkof, P., Rudeck, J., Lewejohann, L. Assessing Affective State in Laboratory Rodents to Promote Animal Welfare-What Is the Progress in Applied Refinement Research. Animals. 9 (12), (2019).
  20. Herskin, M. S., Bundgaard, C. J., Ottesen, J. L., Sørensen, D. B., Marchant-Forde, J. N., Sørensen, D. B., Cloutier, S., Gaskill, B. N. . Animal-centric care and management. , 173-186 (2020).
  21. What is a Culture of Care. Available from: https://norecopa.no/more-resources/culture-of-care (2020)
  22. Bertelsen, T. H., Sørensen, D. B., Cloutier, S., Gaskill, B. N. in . eds Dorte Bratbo Sørensen. Animal-centric care and management. , 15-29 (2020).
  23. Weichbrod, R. H., Thompson, G. A., Norton, J. N. . Management of Animal Care and Use Programs in Research, Education, and Testing. 2 edn. , (2017).
  24. SPF-DANARK. SPF status designations. SPF-DANARK. , (2021).
  25. Berset Convenor, F., et al. Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations recommendations of best practices for the health management of ruminants and pigs used for scientific and educational purposes. Lab Animal. , (2020).
  26. Rehbinder, C., et al. FELASA recommendations for the health monitoring of breeding colonies and experimental units of cats, dogs and pigs. Report of the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA) Working Group on Animal Health. Lab Animal. 32 (1), 1-17 (1998).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo

Privacy

Terms of Use

Policies

Research

Education

ABOUT JoVE

Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved