The effect of providing a shelter to single-housed rats was measured in terms of the preference shown for a cage containing a shelter compared with a barren cage, the range of behaviours performed and the apparent fearfulness of the animals. Of 20 Wistar male rats, all showed a strong preference for cages containing a shelter and 10 of these rats, housed with a shelter, showed increased exploratory behaviour and were more willing to leave their home-cage. It is concluded that enclosed shelters should be provided within the cages of laboratory rats to improve their environment.
|Publication Title||Animal Welfare|
|Author Address||Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK.|
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