Document Detail


Human handling promotes compliant behavior in adult laboratory rabbits.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21333162     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Routine laboratory procedures can be stressful for laboratory animals. We wanted to determine whether human handling of adult rabbits could induce a degree of habituation, reducing stress and facilitating research-related manipulation. To this end, adult New Zealand white rabbits were handled either frequently or minimally. After being handled over 3 wk, these rabbits were evaluated by novel personnel and compared with minimally handled controls. Evaluators subjectively scored the rabbits for their relative compliance or resistance to being scruffed and removed from their cages, being transported to a treatment room, and their behavior at all stages of the exercise. Upon evaluation, handled rabbits scored significantly more compliant than nontreated controls. During evaluation, behaviors that the rabbits displayed when they were approached in their cages and while being handled outside their cages were recorded and compared between study groups. Handled rabbits displayed behavior consistent with a reduction in human-directed fear. This study illustrates the potential for handling to improve compliance in laboratory procedures and reduce fear-related behavior in laboratory rabbits. Such handling could be used to improve rabbit welfare through the reduction of stress and exposure to novel stimuli.
Authors:
Alton G Swennes; Leanne C Alworth; Stephen B Harvey; Carolyn A Jones; Christopher S King; Sharon L Crowell-Davis
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science : JAALAS     Volume:  50     ISSN:  1559-6109     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Am. Assoc. Lab. Anim. Sci.     Publication Date:  2011 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-21     Completed Date:  2011-08-15     Revised Date:  2013-06-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101269489     Medline TA:  J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  41-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
University Research Animal Resources, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA. aswennes@mit.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animal Welfare
Animals
Behavior, Animal*
Female
Habituation, Psychophysiologic
Handling (Psychology)*
Rabbits
Stress, Physiological
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