Skip to content

To group or not to group? Good practice for housing male laboratory mice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Standard

To group or not to group? Good practice for housing male laboratory mice. / Kappel, Sarah; Hawkins, Penny; Mendl, Michael.

In: Animals, Vol. 7, No. 12, 88, 12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Harvard

APA

Vancouver

Author

Kappel, Sarah ; Hawkins, Penny ; Mendl, Michael. / To group or not to group? Good practice for housing male laboratory mice. In: Animals. 2017 ; Vol. 7, No. 12.

Bibtex

@article{ca27fa932e4d4ab09ca7cf59af038118,
title = "To group or not to group? Good practice for housing male laboratory mice",
abstract = "It is widely recommended to group-house male laboratory mice because they are ‘social animals’, but male mice do not naturally share territories and aggression can be a serious welfare problem. Even without aggression, not all animals within a group will be in a state of positive welfare. Rather, many male mice may be negatively affected by the stress of repeated social defeat and subordination, raising concerns about welfare and also research validity. However, individual housing may not be an appropriate solution, given the welfare implications associated with no social contact. An essential question is whether it is in the best welfare interests of male mice to be group- or singly housed. This review explores the likely impacts—positive and negative—of both housing conditions, presents results of a survey of current practice and awareness of mouse behavior, and includes recommendations for good practice and future research. We conclude that whether group- or single-housing is better (or less worse) in any situation is highly context-dependent according to several factors including strain, age, social position, life experiences, and housing and husbandry protocols. It is important to recognise this and evaluate what is preferable from animal welfare and ethical perspectives in each case.",
keywords = "Animal husbandry, Animal management, Animal welfare, Group housing, Male mice, Mouse aggression, Mouse husbandry, Mouse welfare, Refinement, Single housing, Social organisation",
author = "Sarah Kappel and Penny Hawkins and Michael Mendl",
note = "Special Issue: Animal Management in the 21st Century",
year = "2017",
month = "12",
doi = "10.3390/ani7120088",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
journal = "Animals",
issn = "2076-2615",
publisher = "MDPI AG",
number = "12",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - To group or not to group? Good practice for housing male laboratory mice

AU - Kappel, Sarah

AU - Hawkins, Penny

AU - Mendl, Michael

N1 - Special Issue: Animal Management in the 21st Century

PY - 2017/12

Y1 - 2017/12

N2 - It is widely recommended to group-house male laboratory mice because they are ‘social animals’, but male mice do not naturally share territories and aggression can be a serious welfare problem. Even without aggression, not all animals within a group will be in a state of positive welfare. Rather, many male mice may be negatively affected by the stress of repeated social defeat and subordination, raising concerns about welfare and also research validity. However, individual housing may not be an appropriate solution, given the welfare implications associated with no social contact. An essential question is whether it is in the best welfare interests of male mice to be group- or singly housed. This review explores the likely impacts—positive and negative—of both housing conditions, presents results of a survey of current practice and awareness of mouse behavior, and includes recommendations for good practice and future research. We conclude that whether group- or single-housing is better (or less worse) in any situation is highly context-dependent according to several factors including strain, age, social position, life experiences, and housing and husbandry protocols. It is important to recognise this and evaluate what is preferable from animal welfare and ethical perspectives in each case.

AB - It is widely recommended to group-house male laboratory mice because they are ‘social animals’, but male mice do not naturally share territories and aggression can be a serious welfare problem. Even without aggression, not all animals within a group will be in a state of positive welfare. Rather, many male mice may be negatively affected by the stress of repeated social defeat and subordination, raising concerns about welfare and also research validity. However, individual housing may not be an appropriate solution, given the welfare implications associated with no social contact. An essential question is whether it is in the best welfare interests of male mice to be group- or singly housed. This review explores the likely impacts—positive and negative—of both housing conditions, presents results of a survey of current practice and awareness of mouse behavior, and includes recommendations for good practice and future research. We conclude that whether group- or single-housing is better (or less worse) in any situation is highly context-dependent according to several factors including strain, age, social position, life experiences, and housing and husbandry protocols. It is important to recognise this and evaluate what is preferable from animal welfare and ethical perspectives in each case.

KW - Animal husbandry

KW - Animal management

KW - Animal welfare

KW - Group housing

KW - Male mice

KW - Mouse aggression

KW - Mouse husbandry

KW - Mouse welfare

KW - Refinement

KW - Single housing

KW - Social organisation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85036548824&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/ani7120088

DO - 10.3390/ani7120088

M3 - Review article

VL - 7

JO - Animals

JF - Animals

SN - 2076-2615

IS - 12

M1 - 88

ER -