You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Animal welfare beyond the cage ... and beyond the evidence? / About

Animal welfare beyond the cage ... and beyond the evidence?

By R. J. Blanchard

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles

In "Laboratory Rodent Welfare: Thinking Outside the Cage," Balcombe (2010/this issue) suggests that laboratory cage housing is damaging to rats and mice because it does not meet their evolved needs and may damage their psychological and physical health. The article also indicates that larger and more enriched spaces reduce aggression and mortality and improve the health and friendliness of rodents in the laboratory. Remarkably, many of the studies cited as supporting these assertions fail to provide data bearing on the issues involved or may even report findings opposite to those described by Balcombe, whereas many studies that are highly relevant to these issues are not cited or described. Moreover, although the "evolved needs" of rats and mice are presented as the basis for an analysis of rodent welfare, the important and well-documented changes in needs- or motivation-related behaviors of a rodent in the laboratory (due to human selection over hundreds of generations) is ignored. This pattern of disconnections between data and conclusions is so pervasive as to demolish the scientific value of the exposition.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 13
Issue 1
Pages 89-95
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700903372184
Language English
Author Address Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2538 McCarthy Avenue, Snyder, 109, Honolulu, HI 96822,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Aggression
  2. Analysis
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Animal housing
  5. Animal rights
  6. Animals
  7. Animal welfare
  8. Health
  9. Mammals
  10. Mice
  11. mortality
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. Rats
  14. Research
  15. Rodents
  16. Studies
  17. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed