Experimental protocols often require mice to undergo repeated procedures that can cause pain or discomfort. Information on Vole, or Field Mouse Removal and Control. While handling mice is necessary before and after placing them in their test environment, using different techniques can significantly change the animal's response during the exam. Using a computer mouse may not seem dangerous, but potentially wrist-driven actions repeated thousands and thousands of times have the potential to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Download short video clips for use in in-house training. If you are the type to use a computer heavily, you face both a high risk for … Request copies of our mouse handling poster for display in your facility. Researchers now suggest that cupping a mouse in the hand or carrying it in a small tunnel reduces stress and encourages cooperation. Here we provide practical tips on non-aversive handling, including a webinar, a video tutorial, and the underpinning evidence base. Scientific Reports 10: e14562. Many mice are handled once or twice a week by technicians, and are prone to biting and will scuttle around the cage away from a hand. During 1-week acclimation to handling and subsequent 1-week oral administration (once per day), voluntary interaction with the experimenter was much greater in mice handled by a tunnel compared to those picked up by the tail. Get monthly updates in your inbox from the NC3Rs on funding opportunities, events and publications. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71476-y. Therefore, it is important to know whether such protocols affect the previously-demonstrated positive effects of non-aversive handling methods. Laboratory mice are routinely handled for husbandry and scientific procedures. Picking up mice by the tail can compromise their welfare and affect scientific outcomes. The authors conclude that the welfare benefits of tunnel handling are widely applicable. Tunnel handling should be the method of choice for researchers conducting behavioural tests with these animals.’ In previous work, Professor Hurst and the Liverpool team developed alternative methods of handling mice that are much more animal-friendly and just as quick once the handlers are trained. The original research by Professor Hurst was funded by the BBSRC and the NC3Rs. They were also less likely to defecate during handling and behavioural testing than their tail-handled counterparts. However, two alternative methods for picking up laboratory mice have been investigated and validated in recent years [7–9]; ‘tunnel’ handling, that involves guiding mice into a tunnel before being lifted (thus avoiding direct contact), and ‘cup’ handling, where mice are scooped up and lifted with closed or open hands and allowed to move freely without direct physical restraint (video tutorials of … To reduce background variation and maximise welfare, methods that minimise handling stress should be developed and used wherever possible. Mice quickly habituate to tunnel handling and can subsequently be restrained by the scruff or tail base for procedures or health and welfare assessments without negating the positive impacts of the non-aversive capture. Tips and strategies for rolling out the refined handling methods in your facility. Read the underpinning research and related papers. It is well established that using handling tunnels or cupped hands in place of picking up mice by the tail improves their welfare. The basic way to use these methods is by NOT catching and lifting the animals by the tail, but either handle it in a transparent plastic tube (tunnel handling) or on the palm of one’s hand. towards the cage wall. The investment in training should be outweighed by the benefits observed with more reliable behavioural and physiological responses in the mice. This study is the first to validate tunnel handling as a method to reduce the negative welfare effects of repeated isoflurane anaesthesia. Using a tunnel or cupped hand to pick up mice causes less anxiety than traditional tail handling. A study funded by the NC3Rs explored how handling methods influenced mice’s behavior during cognitive tasks. View our video tutorial on the refined mouse handling methods. To test discrimination between two different scents, the mice were then placed near a different urine stimulus. However, despite clear negative effects on mice's behaviour, tunnel … Handling stress is a well-recognised source of variation in animal studies that can also compromise the welfare of research animals. However, you can instead gently guide the mice into these clears handling tunnels. We evaluated a handling method using tunnels to tame laboratory mice (ICR) in the context of animal welfare and ease of handling. This study shows that using a tunnel for routine handling reduces anxiety among mice compared to tail handling regardless of prior familiarity with tunnels. Using a tunnel or cupped hand to pick up mice causes less anxiety than traditional tail handling. Moreover, restraining the tunnel- and cupping-handled mice by neck skin “scruffing” did not alter their willingness to interact with the handler. As handling mice by a tunnel requires minimal physical contact with the animal, this is likely to be another advantage for less experienced handlers. Recent studies have identified that the standard practice of handling laboratory mice by their tails increases behaviours indicative of anxiety, which can be overcome by handling mice using a tunnel. This is "Jane Hurst - mouse tunnel handling" by NC3Rs on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. These non-aversive methods also make handling easier for researchers and animal care staff, and enhance mouse performance in behavioural tests. Hand tunneling is typically performed by tunnel miners using pneumatic hand tools to excavate the soils and then installing wood and/or steel supports for tunnels 42” OD or larger. While isoflurane is known to be aversive to mice, the findings of this study suggest that tail handling causes an aversion to the handler that increases the stress associated with repeated procedures such as anaesthesia. (2020). By contrast, mice picked up in a tunnel explored their environment readily, showed a strong interest in the new stimulus, and a clear effect of becoming familiar with it in the consecutive sessions. Tail or tunnel? You can then use these tunnels to transfer the mice between cages for things such as cleaning out. Henderson LJ, Dani B, Serrano EMN et al. Although efficiency is a concern for large-scale implementation of novel handling methods, the tunnel method may prove beneficial for sensitive strains or studies requiring indirect handling. Dr Henderson’s work complements findings by other researchers showing that single or repeated scruff restraint, single IP injection, repeated subcutaneous injection, repeated oral gavage and tattooing or ear tagging also do not negate the positive effects of non-aversive handling. These positive behavioural effects persisted even after repeated aversive procedures. In this study, PhD student Jasmine Clarkson under the supervision of Professor Candy Rowe and colleagues provide the first evidence that tail handling also reduces the amount that mice respond to reward. Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE | Tel: 020 7611 2233 | Fax: 020 7611 2260 | enquiries@nc3rs.org.uk, 3Rs advice for project licence applicants, 3Rs in toxicology and regulatory sciences, Embedding the 3Rs in COVID-19 return to research plans. As well as having animal welfare benefits the research, led by Professor Jane Hurst at the University of Liverpool, has shown that picking up mice by the tail can impact on scientific outcomes, with mice handled by tunnel and cupping methods showing improved performance in behavioural tests compared to traditional tail handling. These observations suggest that habituating mice to handling by either the cupping or tunnel method minimizes handling-related stress. For example, they may be restrained and injected many times over the duration of a study. They can be placed back by allowing them to climb freely from the device into the cage (Figure 31.5). Non-aversive methods do not add time to husbandry or procedures provided staff are adequately trained. The FAQs address common misconceptions. Many facilities in the UK and internationally have now adopted non-aversive handling methods as part of their everyday practice. handling mice by either cup handling or tunnel handling is less stressful and more trust inspiring for the mice. Professor Jane Hurst describes the evidence supporting refined handling techniques and practical tips for implementation. The techniques identified in the study should lead to further improvements in the welfare of the mice. The literature review showed evidence of alternative handling methods sections, such as using tunnels or cupped hands when picking up mice and rats, having positive impacts on animal welfare and consequently possibly on data reliability, when compared to stressful traditional handling methods such as lifting by the tail. Mice handled by a home cage or external tunnel showed less anxiety in an elevated plus maze than those picked up by the tail. New research published in Scientific Reports shows the animal welfare benefits of picking up laboratory mice via a tunnel instead of by the tail persist even after repeated restraint, injection and anaesthesia. For 96” OD and larger hand tunnels, Bradshaw is the utility industry leader in using the NATM/SEM (sprayed shotcrete) hand tunneling method. Mice can also be required to undergo short periods of anaesthesia for implantation of devices, or repeated instances of anaesthesia for imaging the development of diseases. Benefits of tunnel handling persist after repeated restraint, injection and anaesthesia. If cupped, open hands or clear tunnels are used to pick up the mice, they will show normal curiosity and behavior once placed in the test environment. Mice that were transferred in the tunnel were far more exploratory during the cognitive task. 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