Refinement at NUVISAN ICB

In the context of refinement, we at NUVISAN ICB are always striving to further optimize the housing conditions for the animals, to accustom them to the necessary handling as much as possible, and to make them as stress-free as possible. The fact that we ambitiously pursue this goal is also shown by our employees’ authored publications in the field of laboratory animal science. Our experience and results have also been presented to audiences at national and international conferences.

The handling of laboratory mice influences their behavior and well-being. Capturing and lifting mice by the tail has been a standard method for decades. However, handling by the tail has been shown to cause anxiety and stress compared to alternative handling methods, such as the use of a tunnel. Because tunnel handling is considered non-aversive and has a positive effect on animal welfare, this technique has recently become more common. Implementing non-aversive handling methods in large housing facilities is particularly challenging for animal welfare officers, managers, and animal care staff. In addition to animal care procedures and the cost of acquiring tunnels, the needs of scientists must also be considered. At NUVISAN ICB, the cages were equipped with a transparent plastic tunnel, through which the animals are also transferred. A significant increase in habituation to humans and a reduction in stress and anxiety behavior in the mice was noticed.

Nesting behavior in mice can be used as an indicator of well-being or deterioration in cognitive performance. It is one of the essential behaviors of the mouse. Studies have shown that providing nesting material can reduce aggression between males and enhance well-being.

For these reasons, it has always been common practice at NUVISAN ICB to provide the mice with nesting material. We constantly review whether the offered material can be improved and which one is most accepted in order to increase the refinement for the animals.