Animal Welfare INSIGHTS

The Benefits of Environmental Enrichment for Laboratory Mice

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The natural behavior of mice includes burrowing, foraging, exploring, gnawing, and nest building. These behaviors are essential to the well-being of the animal, and if prevented from performing these activities mice may engage in non-productive repetitive behaviors1,2. Prevention from responding to their natural inclinations could result in undue stress for the animal, possibly impacting their health and increasing stress-related hormone levels. Due to their importance in maintaining...  Read More

Acclimating Research Animals Through Effective Nurturing

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Welcoming a new cohort of animals into your facility can be very exciting for the research team; this is, unfortunately, very stressful for the animals. Stress induced by transportation, cage changes, initial weigh-ins, and changes in food and watering systems is very common when animals are introduced to a new facility. Stressed animals are more susceptible to secondary illnesses and can have elevated hormone levels for up...  Read More

rasH2 and the 3Rs

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In the spirit of Russell and Burch's 3Rs, scientists are developing new tools and methodologies to reduce the use of animal models wherever possible. A very good example is the rasH2 mouse model, which was developed as an alternative to the traditional, two-year carcinogenicity testing of compounds for mutagenic and non-mutagenic chemically- induced tumor formation. Transgenic Mice as an Ethical Alternative The rasH2 mouse was developed in...  Read More

Improving Quality with the 3Rs

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Designing your animal model studies with the 3Rs in mind — Replace, Reduce, Refine — is not only more humane, but can measurably improve the quality and efficiency of your research projects. When we think of improving quality in the life sciences, we might immediately jump to poorly calibrated equipment, expired reagents, or utilizing unvalidated processes. It is obvious that these will have a negative effect on...  Read More

Does Vascular Catheterization in Mice Impact Health?

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Vascular catheterization is commonly used to sample blood and administer compounds to mice and rats, but does it have physiological impact? Researchers may assume that catheterization and automated blood sampling has no effect on the test subject, but a new study sheds doubt on that assumption. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Karolinska Institutet published a paper titled "Carotid Catheterization and Automated Blood Sampling Induce...  Read More