Our dedicated technical team are always striving to ensure our animals receive as much environmental enrichment as possible.
Our researchers have recently introduced the use of playpens for rats in ageing studies to provide social and environmental enrichment. Rats are given regular and frequent access to the playpens, which they seem to enjoy.
To enrich the experience of our rabbits, they regularly spend time in one of two playpens.
This allows the rabbits to perform natural behaviours, including digging, foraging, running and jumping.
Local projects and other initiatives
Our technical team are always keen to find ways of improving animal welfare and environment enrichment.
Animal technicians play a significant role in participating in local projects that have included:
- Validating the use of chew sticks as an enrichment: a pilot study
- Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - introduction of mirror in mice cages
Both projects were pilot studies and work will continue.
We have also taken on the refined methods relating to how to pick up a mouse following a study led by Professor Jane Hurst at the University of Liverpool. Mice handled by tunnel and cupping methods showed improved performance in behavioural tests compared to traditional tail handling.