Problem statement: China is an important emerging market for Zoetis, especially for swine and poultry biologicals. This often necessitates running animal studies at third party facilities, in order to fulfill the rigorous evaluation required for product registration. The Zoetis Corporate Policy states, Zoetis accepts its responsibility for conducting animal research in a humane and ethical manner and expects all employees to treat animals with respect. We approach all research involving animals with a high level of humane and ethical concern for those animals. All experiments are carefully planned and conducted in such a way as to minimize or avoid pain, distress, or discomfort to the animals. Every proposed use of animals in our research is thoroughly evaluated before being undertaken and the health and well-being of all animals under our care is a primary concern. Similarly, we expect any third party research organization we engage to conduct animal based research on our behalf to adhere to this Policy and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
Concerns: Not all of the facilities where we needed to place animal studies had their own animal ethics committees. How would we ensure that rigorous protocol review occurred, as well as oversight for the animal care and use programs?
Discussion: Details will be shared on the formation of a Zoetis-led, collaborative China ethics committee with membership from four companies and institutes. How is confidentiality maintained? What animal care and use standards are used? How is training delivered? How are differences in veterinary and animal care addressed? How are communication barriers overcome?