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The impact of light, noise, cage cleaning and in-house transport on welfare and stress of laboratory rats

By M. J. Castelhano-Carlos, V. Baumans

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Abstract

Human interaction and physical environmental factors are part of the stimuli presented to laboratory animals everyday, influencing their behaviour and physiology and contributing to their welfare. Certain environmental conditions and routine procedures in the animal facility might induce stress responses and when the animal is unable to maintain its homeostasis in the presence of a particular stressor, the animal's wellbeing is threatened. This review article summarizes several published studies on the impact of environmental factors such as light, noise, cage cleaning and in-house transport on welfare and stress of laboratory rats. The behaviour and physiological responses of laboratory rats to different environmental housing conditions and routine procedures are reviewed. Recommendations on the welfare of laboratory rats and refinements in experimental design are discussed and how these can influence and improve the quality of scientific data.

Date 2009
Publication Title Laboratory Animals
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 311-327
ISBN/ISSN 0023-6772
DOI 10.1258/la.2009.0080098
Language English
Author Address Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal. mjoao@ecsaude.uminho.pt
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal physiology
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Cages
  7. Homeostasis
  8. Housing
  9. Laboratory and experimental animals
  10. Laboratory animal science
  11. Light
  12. Mammals
  13. Noise
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Rats
  16. Rodents
  17. Stress
  18. Stress response
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  1. peer-reviewed