Limits...
Refining Housing, Husbandry and Care for Animals Used in Studies Involving Biotelemetry.

Hawkins P - Animals (Basel) (2014)

Bottom Line: Much of this can be overcome by thoughtful experimental design and surgery refinements.Nevertheless, long-term laboratory housing raises welfare concerns and maximum durations should be defined.The above measures will help to improve data quality as well as welfare, because experimental confounds due to physiological and psychological stress will be minimised.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Animals Department, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Wilberforce Way, Southwater, West Sussex, RH13 9RS, UK. penny.hawkins@rspca.org.uk.

ABSTRACT
Biotelemetry can contribute towards reducing animal numbers and suffering in disciplines including physiology, pharmacology and behavioural research. However, the technique can also cause harm to animals, making biotelemetry a 'refinement that needs refining'. Current welfare issues relating to the housing and husbandry of animals used in biotelemetry studies are single vs. group housing, provision of environmental enrichment, long term laboratory housing and use of telemetered data to help assess welfare. Animals may be singly housed because more than one device transmits on the same wavelength; due to concerns regarding damage to surgical sites; because they are wearing exteriorised jackets; or if monitoring systems can only record from individually housed animals. Much of this can be overcome by thoughtful experimental design and surgery refinements. Similarly, if biotelemetry studies preclude certain enrichment items, husbandry refinement protocols can be adapted to permit some environmental stimulation. Nevertheless, long-term laboratory housing raises welfare concerns and maximum durations should be defined. Telemetered data can be used to help assess welfare, helping to determine endpoints and refine future studies. The above measures will help to improve data quality as well as welfare, because experimental confounds due to physiological and psychological stress will be minimised.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

This nest box is designed for rats with external devices. (a) The box has a wide entrance and is bolted to the cage lid so that the animal cannot move it. The corners are extended to meet the side of the cage at the front left and back right of the box to prevent animals from squeezing between the box and cage walls. (b) The adapted box in situ.
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animals-04-00361-f001: This nest box is designed for rats with external devices. (a) The box has a wide entrance and is bolted to the cage lid so that the animal cannot move it. The corners are extended to meet the side of the cage at the front left and back right of the box to prevent animals from squeezing between the box and cage walls. (b) The adapted box in situ.

Mentions: Simply removing the enrichment item is not an appropriate solution, but in some cases there may be justification for adjusting enrichment protocols on veterinary and animal welfare grounds. For example, entanglement in nesting materials can be a real problem for rodents with head caps or cannulae, so some nesting materials would not be appropriate for them. However, it is often possible to cater for the animals’ needs in other ways, such as providing non-tangling nesting material and refuges with wide entrances that are designed so that animals cannot climb on top of them and catch exteriorised devices on the cage roof (Figure 1).


Refining Housing, Husbandry and Care for Animals Used in Studies Involving Biotelemetry.

Hawkins P - Animals (Basel) (2014)

This nest box is designed for rats with external devices. (a) The box has a wide entrance and is bolted to the cage lid so that the animal cannot move it. The corners are extended to meet the side of the cage at the front left and back right of the box to prevent animals from squeezing between the box and cage walls. (b) The adapted box in situ.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494373&req=5

animals-04-00361-f001: This nest box is designed for rats with external devices. (a) The box has a wide entrance and is bolted to the cage lid so that the animal cannot move it. The corners are extended to meet the side of the cage at the front left and back right of the box to prevent animals from squeezing between the box and cage walls. (b) The adapted box in situ.
Mentions: Simply removing the enrichment item is not an appropriate solution, but in some cases there may be justification for adjusting enrichment protocols on veterinary and animal welfare grounds. For example, entanglement in nesting materials can be a real problem for rodents with head caps or cannulae, so some nesting materials would not be appropriate for them. However, it is often possible to cater for the animals’ needs in other ways, such as providing non-tangling nesting material and refuges with wide entrances that are designed so that animals cannot climb on top of them and catch exteriorised devices on the cage roof (Figure 1).

Bottom Line: Much of this can be overcome by thoughtful experimental design and surgery refinements.Nevertheless, long-term laboratory housing raises welfare concerns and maximum durations should be defined.The above measures will help to improve data quality as well as welfare, because experimental confounds due to physiological and psychological stress will be minimised.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Animals Department, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Wilberforce Way, Southwater, West Sussex, RH13 9RS, UK. penny.hawkins@rspca.org.uk.

ABSTRACT
Biotelemetry can contribute towards reducing animal numbers and suffering in disciplines including physiology, pharmacology and behavioural research. However, the technique can also cause harm to animals, making biotelemetry a 'refinement that needs refining'. Current welfare issues relating to the housing and husbandry of animals used in biotelemetry studies are single vs. group housing, provision of environmental enrichment, long term laboratory housing and use of telemetered data to help assess welfare. Animals may be singly housed because more than one device transmits on the same wavelength; due to concerns regarding damage to surgical sites; because they are wearing exteriorised jackets; or if monitoring systems can only record from individually housed animals. Much of this can be overcome by thoughtful experimental design and surgery refinements. Similarly, if biotelemetry studies preclude certain enrichment items, husbandry refinement protocols can be adapted to permit some environmental stimulation. Nevertheless, long-term laboratory housing raises welfare concerns and maximum durations should be defined. Telemetered data can be used to help assess welfare, helping to determine endpoints and refine future studies. The above measures will help to improve data quality as well as welfare, because experimental confounds due to physiological and psychological stress will be minimised.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus