Daily Archives: March 17, 2010

So what ARE conditions in labs like?

There is much misinformation about what conditions are like in modern research laboratories. Animal rights activists spread pictures and videos (often decades old) showing some of the few labs which have failed in their duty of care to their animals. However, such footage is the exception not the rule – so here we provide some footage provided by the UK non-profit Understanding Animal Research, from inside labs.

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UAR also have a fantastic YouTube channel – animalevidence – which provides viewers with a look at the welfare considerations put in laboratories across the country. Here is an example:

This video shows the standard caging used for mice in animal houses. It is important to note that mice are much smaller than the other mammals used in research, so although their cages appear small, there is plenty of room for their needs. They are social animals, benefiting from being housed together in small groups and their natural behaviour involves grouping together in small spaces. Other natural behaviours including nesting and tunneling, and is why they are provided with fairly deep bedding. Mice and other small rodents also like to hide inside dark spaces, which is the reason for the plastic casing in the cages. It is termed the red mouse house and is beneficial as the mouse cannot see out of the box and so feels secure, but the researcher can see in. This video has no sound.

In the US, Americans for Medical Progress also have a YouTube channel providing views with a look at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center research labs:

These videos provide excellent tools for spreading a realistic vision of what goes on inside laboratories – we encourage other research labs to provide footage and prevent AR groups spreading misinformation about the conditions in these labs.

Regards

Tom Holder