Join our mouse handling Twitter chat on 5 March

We are hosting a Twitter chat on Tuesday 5 March from 2pm to 4pm (GMT), which will give you a chance to ask questions about refined mouse handling methods and discuss your experiences.

Research has shown that picking mice up by the tail can induce aversion and high anxiety, compromising their welfare and influencing scientific outcomes. These can be avoided by picking mice up with a tunnel or cupped hand instead, as demonstrated by a growing body of evidence.

We run regular workshops and webinars to help those working with laboratory mice to implement these refined, non-aversive handling methods. We have also produced a range of free resources, which include a video tutorial, posters and practical tips. These can be found on our dedicated ‘How to pick up a mouse’ hub.

To complement these resources and tie in with the IAT’s Animal Technologist Month, we will be hosting a Twitter chat on Tuesday 5 March from 2pm to 4pm (GMT) to answer questions and promote discussions about mouse handling.

Joining a Twitter chat is easy: all you need is a Twitter account and you can contribute as much or as little as you’d like. You can ask us or other participants questions, and we will also be posting questions as prompts for you to share your thoughts and experiences, whether positive or negative. Simply include the hashtag #3Rschat in any of the tweets you post to make them easy for other participants to find and browse through. Read this blog post to find out more about taking part in Twitter chats. Please be aware of your institution’s policies and avoid sharing sensitive information publicly.

We are pleased to announce that John Waters, a Chief Technician and NACWO at the University of Liverpool, will be joining us for this Twitter chat. After research demonstrated the benefits of non-aversive handling methods, John played a key role in working out how to implement these in a busy animal facility from a practical perspective. He is a tireless advocate for laboratory animal welfare and in 2017 won the IAT’s Andrew Blake Tribute Award for his ​contributions to the field. John will be on hand during the Twitter chat via @JohnWat41108474 to offer his perspective as a technician, so don’t miss this chance to ask an expert.

We hope that our Twitter chat will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss mouse handling, especially those who have not had a chance to attend one of our workshops in person. If you have a question you’d like answered or topic you’d like to discuss, feel free to send it to us in advance of the chat at media@nc3rs.org.uk, or simply tweet it on the day to @NC3Rs, remembering to include the #3Rschat hashtag.

We’re looking forward to some great conversations on 5 March – see you there!

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