Many animals are used in the process of generating, breeding and maintenance of GA mice. There are a number of strategies which can help minimise the number of mice used. These include:
- Searching the subject specific and specialist databases to see if the GA mouse already exists.
- The phenotype observed is heavily dependent upon background strain. It is important that the genetic integrity and provenance of the wild types used to breed with GA lines are scrutinised.
- Careful colony management and oversight of breeding.
- Archiving of GA lines as frozen embryos or gametes should be routine part of scientific programmes that produce GA animals. This not only helps reduce animal use by minimising the number of GA lines maintained on the shelf, but also facilitates the sharing of GA lines between researchers, providing further opportunities for reduction. A free archiving service is provided by the MRC Frozen Embryo and Sperm Archive.
- Further information on sharing and archiving of GA mice is available on the RSPCA website.