Laboratory mouse aggression study
Aggression in group-housed mice is a serious welfare concern. Mice are used extensively for the purposes of scientific research, with over 2.7 million mice being used in the UK in 2017 alone . Further understanding of the factors influencing mouse aggression could have a significant positive welfare impact on a large number of animals.
The NC3Rs led a crowdsourcing data project to collect data on the prevalence of and potential triggers for aggression in group-housed, male laboratory mice. In total, 44 facilities from nine countries participated in the study and data was collected by 143 animal technicians. A total of 788 incidents of aggression-related injuries were reported across a sample population of 137,580 mice.
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How technicians participated in the study:
- Technicians observed group-housed male mice during daily routine cage checks and recorded information on incidents of aggression.
- Technicians claimed ten hours of Continual Professional Development (CPD) credits from the Institute of Animal Technology.
- Participants were invited to view a video tutorial that provided background information on the aims of the study, together with step-by-step instructions on how to collect and submit data. A written version of the instructions is given here. A summary of answers to frequently asked questions is given here.
- Data was collected over a consecutive four-week period between 1 September and 30 November 2017 and recorded using an Excel spreadsheet.
- The data was submitted to the NC3Rs, anonymised, checked and queries cleared with participants. It has now been analysed and is currently being prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
|A1 - Consent||12-13|
|A2 - Questionnaire||14-16|
|A3 - Injuries log||17-25|
|A4 - Total male mice numbers||26-30|
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