Environmental enrichment is an important means of increasing the welfare of animals in research if it is tailored to the species concerned and helps to satisfy their basic needs (the Five Freedoms). More research is needed on how to provide suitable enrichment to a range of species, not least fish, without increasing variability in a study or creating economic or hygienic barriers for its use.
In 2013 Norecopa invited Norwegian fish researchers to collaborate in a project to raise funds for research into environmental enrichment of species being used in laboratory experiments related to the fish farming industry.
On 12 September 2013 Dr. Penny Hawkins of the Research Animals Department, RSPCA, UK, held a webinar, arranged by The Enrichment Record, with the title:
Facts and Demonstrations: Exploring the effects of enrichment on data quality
Norecopa has obtained the permission of the organisers and the speaker to publish these documents from the webinar:
The webinar presentation
Handout with references
The handout contains, among other things, lists of:
- Literature references on the effects of environmental enrichment on variability and standardisation of animal experiments
- Books and online resources on environmental enrichment
- Journals that publish papers on laboratory animal science and welfare
- Relevant organisations
- The articles cited in the webinar presentation
- The Contribution of Environmental Complexity to Phenotypic Variation in Mice and Rats (Kentner et al., 2020)
- Enrichment Strategies for Laboratory Animals
- Environmental enrichment for laboratory rodents and rabbits: requirements of rodents, rabbits and research
- A Guide to the Behavior and Enrichment of Laboratory Rodents (Charles River guidebook)
- CCAC Training Module on Environmental Enrichment
- Nip et al. (2019): Why are enriched mice nice? Investigating how environmental enrichment reduces agonism in female C57/BL6, DBA/2, and BALB/c mice. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 217: 73-82.
- Webster J (2016): Animal Welfare: Freedoms, Dominions and "A Life Worth Living". Animals, 6(6), 35; doi:10.3390/ani6060035
- Mellor DJ (2016) Moving beyond the “Five Freedoms” by Updating the “Five Provisions” and Introducing Aligned “Animal Welfare Aims”, Animals, 6 (10), 59; doi:10.3390/ani6100059
- Abou-Ismail UA & Mendl MT (2016): The effects of enrichment novelty versus complexity in cages of group-housed rats (Rattus norvegicus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 180, 130-139.
- Bayne, K., & Würbel, H. (2014): The impact of environmental enrichment on the outcome variability and scientific validity of laboratory animal studies. Revue Scientifique et Technique (International Office of Epizootics), 33(1), 273–80.
- Are happy animals better for science?
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