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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Mouse handling: Research papers

We have produced a printable table that summarises the research published to-date on the tunnel handling and cupping methods for handling mice.

We will update the table as new research is published. To alert us to relevant publications, please email

Why did we produce this table?

Our practical experience of supporting the community with non-aversive mouse handling methods tells us that researchers and animal care staff are not always aware of the underpinning research studies, their key findings, and the quality of their experimental design. This table provides at-a-glance information to address these knowledge gaps, whether you already use refined handling methods in your work or are considering trying them.

What information does the table contain?

We summarise published papers, including the original research, that provide evidence for improved animal welfare and scientific outcomes with the tunnel handling and cupping methods, as well as research aimed at validating or investigating these techniques.

In each case, we note:

  • The key findings.
  • What was compared (e.g. tail, tunnel, cupping) and the measures used.
  • Animal characteristics (i.e. strain, sex and age of mice) as well as the tunnel and cage type.
  • The schedule of acclimation to handling.
  • An assessment of the study reliability and any caveats.

We include links to each paper so you can read them in full. At the end of the document, we have provided a "Where is the evidence?" table that shows which papers provide evidence for specific aspects of the research.