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Shedding ultraviolet light on welfare in laboratory rodents: suggestions for further research and refinement

By D. B. Sorensen

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Abstract

The welfare of laboratory rats and mice is sought to be optimised through adjustment of a variety of environmental factors, including light intensity and photoperiodicity. However, the fact that rodents are able to perceive ultraviolet (UV) light tends to be ignored. The importance of being able - as a rodent - to utilise this part of the visual spectrum has not been studied in great detail, but suggestions, based on the evolutionary success of this trait, indicate that the deprivation of ultraviolet light in mice and rats could perhaps impact negatively on the welfare of these animals. Further research into the importance of having a UV light source available to rats and mice should be encouraged.

Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 23
Issue 3
Pages 259-261
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Publisher Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
DOI 10.7120/09627286.23.3.259
Language English
Author Address Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 57, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.brat@sund.ku.dk
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Tags
  1. Animal housing
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Deprivation
  5. Environment
  6. Evolution
  7. intensity
  8. Laboratory and experimental animals
  9. Laboratory animal science
  10. Light
  11. Mammals
  12. Mice
  13. photoperiodism
  14. radiation
  15. Rats
  16. Rodents
  17. shedding
  18. vertebrates
  19. vision