The impact of environmental enrichment on the outcome variability and scientific validity of laboratory animal studies.

Bayne, Kathryn; Würbel, Hanno (2014). The impact of environmental enrichment on the outcome variability and scientific validity of laboratory animal studies. Revue scientifique et technique - Office international des épizooties, 33(1), pp. 273-280. Office International des Epizooties

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It has been widely accepted for some time that species-appropriate environmental enrichment is important for the welfare of research animals, but its impact on research data initially received little attention. This has now changed, as the use of enrichment as one element of routine husbandry has expanded. In addition to its use in the care of larger research animals, such as nonhuman primates, it is now being used to improve the environments of small research animals, such as rodents, which are used in significantly greater numbers and in a wide variety of studies. Concern has been expressed that enrichment negatively affects both experimental validity and reproducibility. However, when a concise definition of enrichment is used, with a sound understanding of the biology and behaviour of the animal as well as the research constraints, it becomes clear that the welfare of research animals can be enhanced through environmental enrichment without compromising their purpose. Indeed, it is shown that the converse is true: the provision of suitable enrichment enhances the well-being of the animal, thereby refining the animal model and improving the research data. Thus, the argument is made that both the validity and reproducibility of the research are enhanced when proper consideration is given to the research animal's living environment and the animal's opportunities to express species-typical behaviours.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Würbel, Hanno

ISSN:

0253-1933

Publisher:

Office International des Epizooties

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jeremy Davidson Bailoo

Date Deposited:

29 Apr 2015 09:46

Last Modified:

18 Jul 2016 16:23

PubMed ID:

25000800

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.67436

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/67436

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