Environmental enrichment

Our dedicated technical team are always striving to ensure our animals receive as much environmental enrichment as possible.

Rat playpens

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.

rat play pen

Rabbit playpens

To enrich the experience of our rabbits, they regularly spend time in one of two playpens. 

rabbit playing in play penThis 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.

Tunnel handling from cage to cage