A cage without a view increases stress and impairs cognitive performance in rats
Contributor(s):: Harris, A. P., D'Eath, R. B., Healy, S. D.
Single housing is believed to be chronically stressful and to have a negative impact on welfare and cognition in rats (Rattus norvegicus). However, single housing does not consistently evoke stress-like responses nor does it consistently impair cognitive performance. In an experiment in which all...
A mouse is not just a mouse
Contributor(s):: Sluyter, F., Oortmerssen, G. A. van
In this review, we describe the existence and consequences of subspecific and individual variation in the genetic make-up of house mice. The purpose is to illustrate forms of variation that are often neglected in discussions about animal care and experimental design. Different inbred mouse...
A note on comparative enclosure facility usage by wild and captive-born capybaras ( Hydrochaerus hydrochaeris )
Contributor(s):: Nogueira, S. S. C., Bernardi, L. G., Nogueira Filho, S. L. G.
This study compared the use of the enclosure facilities (sheltered area, water-tank and exercise area) by wild versus captive-born capybaras. A total of 44 adult capybaras were kept in eight groups: four groups of animals born in the wild and caught as adults and four groups of those born and...
A survey assessment of the incidence of fur-chewing in commercial chinchilla ( Chinchilla lanigera ) farms
Contributor(s):: Ponzio, M. F., Busso, J. M., Ruiz, R. D., Cuneo, F. M. de
Chinchilla lanigera intensive breeding programmes are affected by an abnormal repetitive behaviour called 'fur-chewing', yet the aetiology is still unknown and little scientific work has been published on this condition. Recent studies have supported the idea that fur-chewing is a stress-related...
A targeted approach to developing environmental enrichment for two strains of laboratory mice
| Contributor(s):: Nicol, C. J., Brocklebank, S., Mendl, M., Sherwin, C. M.
Previous studies on environmental enrichment have generally placed a purported enrichment in the cage and observed changes in behavioural and physiological indicators of welfare. However, many of these 'enrichments' are not purposely designed, or appear to be designed with anthropomorphic...
Acute effects of cage cleaning at different frequencies on laboratory rat behaviour and welfare
| Contributor(s):: Burn, C. C., Peters, A., Mason, G. J.
An assessment of laboratory mouse welfare in UK animal units
| Contributor(s):: Leach, M. C., Main, D. C. J.
The welfare of conventional stock laboratory mice has been assessed in 46 UK animal units using an expert-defined welfare assessment protocol containing 119 measures of mouse welfare. These were recorded using a questionnaire and observations made during a one-day visit to each unit. The standard...
An ethological approach to housing requirements of golden hamsters, Mongolian gerbils and fat sand rats in the laboratory - a review
| Contributor(s):: Sorensen, D. B., Krohn, T., Hansen, H. N., Ottesen, J. L., Hansen, A. K.
When housing hamsters and gerbils little has been done to identify the preferences of these species. The solitary nature of fat sand rats and hamsters is often discordant with housing practices in animal laboratories. This article provides a comparison of the behaviour of wild-living animals with...
An illustration that statistical design mitigates environmental variation and ensures unambiguous study conclusions
| Contributor(s):: Gore, K. H., Stanley, P. J.
This paper highlights the essential need for appropriate statistical design and randomisation in laboratory animal studies. Using an example of a 21 day weight gain study in mice, we show that without the use of an appropriate statistical design and randomisation, incorrect conclusions may have...
Animal welfare beyond the cage ... and beyond the evidence?
| Contributor(s):: Blanchard, R. J.
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...
Antimony: The Use, Rights, and Regulation of Laboratory Animals
| Contributor(s):: Brenda L. Thomas
'In recent years, the problem, plight, and philosophy behind the use of animals in laboratories, schools, and industries has caused many to formulate an opinion on animal experimentation. It is simple to postulate a Monday morning quarterback philosophy - merely weigh the...
Behaviour of golden hamsters ( Mesocricetus auratus ) kept in four different cage sizes
| Contributor(s):: Fischer, K., Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Steiger, A.
Cages for laboratory and pet hamsters are usually small. Using video recordings, the behaviour of sixty female golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), housed individually in four different cage sizes, was compared in order to draw conclusions about their welfare. The cage sizes were 1,800 cm2,...
Better rodent control by better regulation: regulatory incentives and regulator support to improve the humaneness of rodent control
| Contributor(s):: Littin, K. E.
Body weight change as a measure of stress: a practical test
| Contributor(s):: McLaren, G. W., Mathews, F., Fell, R., Gelling, M., Macdonald, D. W.
We report on the efficacy of body weight change as a measure of trapping and handling stress in two species of wild small mammal: bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) and wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). We tested two hypotheses: (1) that weight change after capture and handling is related to the...
Cage size preference in rats in the laboratory
| Contributor(s):: Patterson-Kane, E. G.
The size of an enclosure is an integral part of how well it accommodates a nonhuman animal's welfare; however, most enrichment studies concentrate on modifying the area inside the enclosure rather than enlarging it. It has been suggested that rats have little need for more cage space, but there...
Can sleep behaviour be used as an indicator of stress in group-housed rats ( Rattus norvegicus )?
| Contributor(s):: Abou-Ismail, U. A., Burman, O. H. P., Nicol, C. J., Mendl, M.
We assessed the value of sleep behaviour as a novel measure of stress in group-housed animals. We observed, non-invasively, sleep behaviour in 144 group-housed rats, and related it to other physiological and physical indicators of stress and welfare. Sleep frequency and duration correlated...
Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) behaviour and welfare: implications for successful farming practices
| Contributor(s):: Nogueira, S. S. C., Nogueira-Filho, S. L. G.
Clinical pathology and cardiovascular parameters are not influenced by housing rats under increased environmental complexity
| Contributor(s):: Mikkelsen, L. F., Sorensen, D. B., Krohn, T., Lauritzen, B., Dragsted, N., Hansen, A. K., Ottesen, J. L.
Since the release of the revised Appendix A from the Council of Europe for housing of laboratory animals there have been claims that laboratory animals should be housed under more complex conditions; known popularly as enrichment. A number of studies have expressed concerns that this may increase...
Cognitive bias as an indicator of animal emotion and welfare: emerging evidence and underlying mechanisms. (Special Issue: Animal suffering and welfare.)
| Contributor(s):: Mendl, M., Burman, O. H. P., Parker, R. M. A., Paul, E. S.
Accurate assessment of animal emotion (affect) is an important goal in animal welfare science, and in areas such as neuroscience and psychopharmacology. Direct measures of conscious emotion are not available, so assessment of animal affect has relied on measures of the behavioural and...
Comparison of preferences for object properties in the rat using paired- and free-choice paradigms
| Contributor(s):: Williams, C. M., Riddell, P. M., Scott, L. A.
A common method for testing preference for objects is to determine which of a pair of objects is approached first in a paired-choice paradigm. In comparison, many studies of preference for environmental enrichment (EE) devices have used paradigms in which total time spent with each of a pair of...