Cephalopods in neuroscience: regulations, research and the 3Rs

cephres [ at ] cephalopodresearch.org


Cephalopods have been utilised in neurosci- ence research for more than 100 years particularly because of their phenotypic plasticity, complex and centralised nervous system, tractability for studies of learning and cellular mechanisms of memory (e.g. long-term potentia- tion) and anatomical features facilitating physiological studies (e.g. squid giant axon and synapse). On 1 January 2013, research using any of the about 700 extant species of ‘‘live cephalopods’’ became regulated within the European Union by Directive 2010/63/EU on the ‘‘Protection of Animals used for Scientific Purposes’’, giving cephalopods the same EU legal protection as previously afforded only to vertebrates. The Directive has a number of implications, particularly for neuroscience research. These include: (1) projects will need justification, authorisation from local competent authorities, and be subject to review including a harm-benefit assessment and adherence to the 3Rs princi- ples (Replacement, Refinement and Reduction). (2) To support project evaluation and compliance with the new EU law, guidelines specific to cephalopods will need to be developed, covering capture, transport, handling, housing, care, maintenance, health monitoring, humane anaesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia. (3) Objective criteria need to be developed to identify signs of pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm particularly in the context of their induction by an experimental procedure. Despite diversity of views existing on some of these topics, this paper reviews the above topics and describes the approaches being taken by the cephalopod research community (represented by the authorship) to produce ‘‘guidelines’’ and the potential contribution of neuroscience research to cephalopod welfare.

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DOI 10.1007/s10158-013-0165-x

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Fiorito, G. , Affuso, A. , Anderson, D. B. , Basil, J. , Bonnaud, L. , Botta, G. , Cole, A. , D’Angelo, L. , Girolamo, P. , Dennison, N. , Dickel, L. , Cosmo, A. , Cristo, C. , Gestal, C. , Fonseca, R. , Grasso, F. , Kristiansen, T. , Kuba, M. , Maffucci, F. , Manciocco, A. , Mark, F. C. , Melillo, D. , Osorio, D. , Palumbo, A. , Perkins, K. , Ponte, G. , Raspa, M. , Shashar, N. , Smith, J. , Smith, D. , Sykes, A. , Villanueva, R. , Tublitz, N. , Zullo, L. and Andrews, P. (2014): Cephalopods in neuroscience: regulations, research and the 3Rs , Invertebrate Neuroscience . doi: 10.1007/s10158-013-0165-x

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