The ability to express species-specific behaviors reduces stressors inherent in captive living and promotes both physical and mental health. The laboratory can impose extreme limits on natural behavior so Dr. Chalcraft meets with companies to discuss best practices to improve animal welfare in laboratory settings.

While the Animal Welfare Act presents minimum standards and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals presents general suggestions, Dr. Chalcraft presents the specifics on products that work to counter the challenges of the laboratory environment. The principles of behavior-based environmental enrichment, desensitization, and socialization will be presented and discussed.

Dr. Chalcraft offers consultations with small groups or seminars to larger audiences.

Consultations and seminars may be tailored to one or more species of interest, including rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, gerbils, hamsters, goats, pigs, sheep, cows, dogs, cats, monkeys, and chimpanzees.

After reviewing the natural behavior of a species, topics will cover social housing, bedding, physical and mental exercise (including food and object enrichment), structural enrichment as well as environmental stressors such as handling, temperatures, and noise.