New laboratory mouse handling video tutorial

The NC3Rs has released a new video tutorial to help technical staff and researchers to handle mice using non-aversive methods. The tutorial is based on research by Prof Jane Hurst and colleagues at the University of Liverpool, funded by the NC3Rs and BBSRC. The aim is to promote widespread uptake of refined methods of handling laboratory mice by providing practical advice and tackling common misconceptions about the improved techniques. 

Mice are the most common animal used in biomedical research, but until recently little was known about how best to approach and handle them from the animal’s perspective. Yet handling is an important part of everyday husbandry and precedes many experimental procedures. Depending on the method used, handling can cause mice stress and influence their behaviour and physiology, and so it can be a potential source of (unexplained) variability within and between studies. Widespread use of the tutorial has the potential to significantly improve animal welfare and the reliability of mouse studies.



1.Hurst JL, West RS (2010) Taming anxiety in laboratory mice. Nat Methods. Oct;7(10):825-6. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1500

2.Gouveia K, Hurst JL (2013) Reducing Mouse Anxiety during Handling: Effect of Experience with Handling Tunnels. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66401.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066401

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