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THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2020 4:00 PM
JENNIFER CAMACHO, AAB, LVT, RLATg, CMAR, Environmental Enrichment Program Manager Massachusetts General Hospital , Center for Comparative Medicine

The response to Covid-19 has created unique challenges for everyone around this world and specifically in the lab animal industry. While methods of responding to these challenges may vary, many institutions are experiencing; culling of animals, decreased staff presence, and reduced research/operations to allow staff to shorten workloads allowing staff to keep safe and to respond to personal challenges. During times when work is prioritized it is not uncommon for enrichment to be considered “extra” and not conducted if time does not allow. But it especially now, that the animals need the enrichment the most. Less activity in the facilities means less to keep animals occupied, less eyes on them to identify early issues and staff, when present may be undergoing stress that can be perceived by the animals. Enrichment is not only beneficial to the animals, but also for the human caretakers. It can be uplifting during troubling times and can make being at work with so many uncertainty’s a better experience. This conversation is going to look at the specific challenges related to the Covid-19 response that may be affecting the laboratory animals and how through enrichment we can act preventatively to provide care for our animals and ourselves.

ABOUT JENN … Jennifer Camacho, LVT, RLATG, CMAR, AAB is the Environmental Enrichment Program Manager for the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is a graduate SUNY Delhi with a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology | Management, and is certified as an Applied Animal Behaviorist from the University of Washington. She has 20 years of experience in the laboratory animal field and has contributed to the industry; having organized enrichment symposiums, through presentations and authoring of publications related to animal enrichment, behavior management and social housing.