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The impact of environmental enrichment on the outcome variability and scientific validity of laboratory animal studies

Author(s) : K. Bayne & H. Würbel

Summary :

It has been widely accepted for some time that species-appropriate environmental enrichment is important for the welfare of research animals, but its impact on research data initially received little attention. This has now changed, as the use of enrichment as one element of routine husbandry has expanded. In addition to its use in the care of larger research animals, such as nonhuman primates, it is now being used to improve the environments of small research animals, such as rodents, which are used in significantly greater numbers and in a wide variety of studies. Concern has been expressed that enrichment negatively affects both experimental validity and reproducibility.

Keywords
Animal welfare – Environmental enrichment – Experimental validity – Reproducibility – Three Rs.

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