Rodent welfare hub

Mice and rats comprise 75% of all animals used in research in the EU (Seventh report from the European Commission). Here we highlight some of the resources and outputs from our programmes related to laboratory rodent welfare, which aim to have a positive impact on the large number of rodents used in research in addition to improving the quality of scientific outputs.

Throughout 2017, the NC3Rs highlighted the welfare needs of laboratory rodents as part of our Year of Laboratory Rodent Welfare. We ran a series of workshops, events and data collection projects aimed at animal technicians, as well a number of other projects focusing on laboratory rodent welfare. Details of these initiatives can also be found below.

View all of our Year of Laboratory Rodent Welfare activities on our timeline.
The importance of burrowing, climbing and standing upright for laboratory rats.
Summary report on our workshops to explore approaches to providing laboratory rats with a complex environment and increased opportunity to exercise.
Crowdsourcing data project for technicians to identify patterns and triggers of aggression in laboratory mice.
Office-led project with recommendations for best practice in rat bile duct cannulation studies.
Assessing the feasibility of telemetry recordings from rats socially-housed in double-decker cages.
Office-led project on improving animal welfare in rodent models of epilepsy and seizures.
Recommendations on good practice for the humane killing of common laboratory animals, including rodents.
Information to help with the implementation of approaches to reduce and refine the use of GA mice.
Posters and other resources on the use of grimace scales to assess pain in mice and rats.
Guidance for improving the housing and husbandry of laboratory rodents.
Non-aversive methods for handling mice.
Resources on rat tickling and how it can be used to promote positive human-animal interactions, provided by the Gaskill Lab at Purdue University.
Office-led project focussing on improving the welfare of rodents used in stroke research.
A selection of CRACK IT projects we have funded with a rodent welfare theme.
A selection of project grants we have funded with a rodent welfare theme.
Funded by the NC3Rs, this e-learning resource focuses on the recognition and prevention of pain, suffering and distress in laboratory rodents.