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Animal Husbandry and Housing Problems

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The goal of guidelines set in place is to certify humanitarian treatment of animals in research and to achieve great results. In rats, Animal husbandry and housing problems that are mainly applicable to stress responses, including handling then transportation, bedding changes, housing conditions, light levels and the cycle between light and darkness. It is argued that these important animal housing and husbandry factors should be reported in greater detail in an attempt to increase awareness about unrelated experimental variables, principally those that have the potential to interact with the stress response.

Cage cleaning- cages should be changed as often as required to make certain that animals are clean and dry, but that cleaning occurrence is a matter that will be decided by the management. Experiential results suggest that excessive cage changes may be stressful to rats. Cage cleaning has been linked with increases in cardiovascular parameters and general activity in male SD and Wistar rats.

Social housing- It has been established that housing primates socially impacts their emotional and physical health. Social housing increases longevity in crab eating macaques and makes them less fearful. A Van Loo study suggests that primates prefer social contact over environmental enrichment materials such as nesting/foraging.

Primates are often housed in numbers due to the makeup of their natural environment in social groups. When single housing is necessary, introducing inanimate enrichment objects can alleviate some of the negative penalties of single housing. Controlling aggressiveness benefits animals and allows for a reduction in the number of animals required for projects thereby reducing study costs in the long term. Social housing reduces acclimatisation periods after transportation; it also allows the animals to create their social ranking hierarchy.

Codes of practice that is relatable to laboratory animals

In the United Kingdom, the Home Office is the ministry responsible for licensing and regulating scientific procedures involving animals. Under section 21 of The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, the Home Office issued a Code of Practice for the housing and care of animals used in scientific procedures (Home Office 1989) and a Code of Practice for the housing and care of animals in designated breeding and supplying establishments (Home Office 1995), to establish minimum standards for the housing and care of laboratory animals. With the aim of ensuring good husbandry and safeguarding animal welfare, the Codes of Practice set out general guidelines on the housing and management of laboratory animals, as well as providing species-specific advice.

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