Non-aversive mouse handling in practice

Since the first study on non-aversive mouse handling was published by West and Hurst in 2010, an increasing number of research organisations have moved away from picking up mice by the tail and instead use a tunnel or cupped hands. This change has often been initiated and led by animal care staff, who have played a crucial role in adoption of the refined handling methods in animal facilities across the country.

We visited UK universities and institutes to talk with animal technicians and NTCOs about their experiences of implementing tunnel handling or cupping. In the videos below, six champions talk about how they succeeded in switching to these non-aversive methods and the positive changes they have seen in their mice. They also share their top tips on how to make the transition as smooth and efficient as possible.

Please note: these videos were filmed before the COVID-19 lockdown.

University of Nottingham


MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge


University of Glasgow


University of Cardiff


University of Manchester


University of Birmingham