3Rs Information - Other animals


Home pen design for laboratory dogs

A study by Scullion et al has highlighted the importance of modern home pen designs for laboratory beagles, demonstrating signs of positive welfare and reduced stereotypical behaviour.



NC3Rs laboratory dog resource

This provides information on welfare assessment and refinement in dogs


Music as auditory enrichment

A paper has been published in Animals, which reviews studies that performed experimental testing for the therapeutic effects of music on dogs. It concludes that exposure to classical music appears to have a calming influence on dogs in stressful environments, but further studies are required in this area, studies which have clearly defined characteristics of stimulus music in the experimental design, and which consider the variability of each individual animal’s physical characteristics and past experience.


Facial indicators of positive emotions in birds

An article has been published in Behavioural Processes looking at facial indicators of positive emotions in birds. This article argues that variation in crown feather height and pupil area may provide indications of positive emotion in Japanese quail, and suggests that facial indicators may potentially be used to assess positive emotions in birds in the future.



Development of grimace scale in ferrets

Researchers at a university in the Netherlands have attempted to create a grimace scale specifically for ferrets that had undergone surgical implantation of a telemetry probe. The researchers found that orbital tightening could be useful for pain assessment of ferrets. However, this is a small study and other action units (whisker retraction, nose bulging, cheek bulging and ear changes) should be re-evaluated before they can be included in the facial grimace scale. Prior to incorporating the grimace scale into a multi-factorial pain assessment protocol, it must be further validated using different painful stimuli, analgesic regimens and by measuring more time points.




Amphibian welfare

report has been published in Lab Animal regarding amphibian welfare. This comes following a workshop on amphibian welfare organised by the Zoological Society of London in October 2017. This article summarises the presentations given on the day and identifies the welfare challenges while discussing the steps that need to be taken to improve conditions for this diverse group of animals. We recommend this resource as it should help researchers and animal care staff to identify, and where necessary address, signs of good and poor welfare in amphibian laboratory animals.

CCAC Guidelines: amphibians

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) has published guidelines for the care and use of amphibians, and a list of frequently asked questions on the subject. The guidelines provide information for investigators, study directors, AWBs, facility managers, vets, and animal care staff to help facilitate improvement in both the care given to amphibians and the manner in which procedures are performed.

Wild animals

Norecopa presentation on wild animal research

A presentation about wild animal research given by Norecopa at the FELASA Congress in June 2019 has been made available to download. The presentation is entitled Research and management of wild animals: Politics, ethics and the 3Rs and covers the major challenges in wildlife research, as well as severity assessment and the role of the designated veterinarian.

Assessing the welfare of individual non-captive wild animals

A review article in Animals describes a ten-stage protocol for systematically and scientifically assessing the welfare of individual non-captive wild animals. Although free-roaming horses are used as the example, the principles should be relevant to all scientists studying animals in the wild.

3R Principles in Wildlife Research

This resource has been created to provide information about the 3Rs principles as applied to wildlife research. In includes peer-reviewed examples of wildlife research methods to be used as guidance. The site also describes the importance of wildlife research, and potential animal welfare issues.


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