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Use of in-cage shelters by laboratory rats

By P. Townsend

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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.

Date 1997
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 6
Issue 2
Pages 95-103
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal experimentation
  3. Animal research
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Cages
  7. Enrichment
  8. Fear
  9. Laboratory and experimental animals
  10. Laboratory animal science
  11. Mammals
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. Rats
  14. Rodents
  15. shelters
  1. peer-reviewed