Document Detail

The effect of an environmental enrichment device on individually caged rabbits in a safety assessment facility.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14510521     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The primary enclosure of a laboratory animal's environment should encourage species-typical behavior and enhancement of the animal's well-being, as indicated by the Guide. Enrichment devices have been documented to decrease the incidence of stereotypical behaviors and increase overall activity of rabbits. An 8-week study was performed to evaluate the effect of an environmental enrichment device, stainless-steel rabbit rattles on spring clips, on individually housed rabbits in a Safety Assessment facility. We used 48 New Zealand White rabbits; the devices were placed on cages of 32 study rabbits, and 16 control rabbits had no devices. Food consumption measurements and observations of device manipulations (taken during a predetermined peak interaction 1-h timeframe) were collected 5 days per week. All rabbits were bled for evaluation of hematologic parameters for the stress triad (neutrophilia, lymphopenia, and eosinopenia) and weighed weekly. No significant differences were found between study and control rabbits when body weights, food consumption, and hematologic parameters were analyzed. Our study supports previous findings that interaction with enrichment devices decreases over time, thus indicating the need for frequent rotation of different enrichment devices. In addition, no adverse effects of the analyzed parameters were found, indicating that stainless-steel rabbit rattles on spring clips are suitable devices for safety assessment studies, in which the introduction of new variables is often unacceptable.
Colena A Johnson; Wendi A Pallozzi; Leann Geiger; John L Szumiloski; Lynn Castiglia; Noelle P Dahl; James A Destefano; Stacy J Pratt; Steven J Hall; Carolann M Beare; Michael Gallagher; Hilton J Klein
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Contemporary topics in laboratory animal science / American Association for Laboratory Animal Science     Volume:  42     ISSN:  1060-0558     ISO Abbreviation:  Contemp Top Lab Anim Sci     Publication Date:  2003 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-09-26     Completed Date:  2003-11-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9204153     Medline TA:  Contemp Top Lab Anim Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  27-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Laboratory Animal Resources, Merck Research Laboratories, Sumneytown Pike, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Welfare*
Blood Cell Count
Body Weight
Housing, Animal*
Rabbits / physiology,  psychology
Social Environment*
Stress, Psychological / blood
Toxicity Tests / methods*

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