The importance of reporting housing and husbandry in rat research

Johnson, Luke R., Grunberg, Neil E., Bergstrom, Hadley C., & Prager, Eric M. (2011) The importance of reporting housing and husbandry in rat research. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 5.

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In 1963, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) first issued guidelines for animal housing and husbandry. The most recent 2010 revision emphasizes animal care “in ways judged to be scientifically, technically, and humanely appropriate” (National Institutes of Health, 2010, p. XIII). The goal of these guidelines is to ensure humanitarian treatment of animals and to optimize the quality of research. Although these animal care guidelines cover a substantial amount of information regarding animal housing and husbandry, researchers generally do not report all these variables (see Table ​Table1).1). The importance of housing and husbandry conditions with respect to standardization across different research laboratories has been debated previously (Crabbe et al., 1999; Van Der Staay and Steckler, 2002; Wahlsten et al., 2003; Wolfer et al., 2004; Van Der Staay, 2006; Richter et al., 2010, 2011). This paper focuses on several animal husbandry and housing issues that are particularly relevant to stress responses in rats, including transportation, handling, cage changing, housing conditions, light levels and the light–dark cycle. We argue that these key animal housing and husbandry variables should be reported in greater detail in an effort to raise awareness about extraneous experimental variables, especially those that have the potential to interact with the stress response.

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20 citations in Scopus
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18 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 64172
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2011.00038
ISSN: 1662-5153
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NEUROSCIENCES (110900)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: The authors
Deposited On: 07 Nov 2013 11:55
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2013 01:53

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