Owners’ insights on the behaviour of their pet rats could help researchers improve the welfare of rats in the laboratory
20 December 2021
Laboratory rats might live better lives if they had cages that let them stand up, climb and romp about, according to researchers who gathered lessons on the animals’ behaviour from pet rat owners.
Vikki Neville at the University of Bristol in the UK turned to private owners’ expertise to learn how to improve rats’ living environments and recognise possible indicators of their well-being.
“Allowing rats to express natural behaviours is really, really important for their welfare and for better science,” says Neville.
As a scientist …