NC3Rs award for UFAW-funded Research into Lab Mouse Housing

21 March 2018

The National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction (NC3Rs) of animals in research recently awarded Dr Georgia Mason, Dr Michael Walker and colleagues from the University of Guelph, Canada, a highly commended award in their annual prize for their UFAW-funded work on mixed-strain housing for female mice to promote both refinement and the reduction of animals used in research.  The team's work focused on mixed-strain housing of lab mice as more efficient experimental design that can be used when testing new treatments such as drugs, diets or cage manipulations.

The team showed that housing mice in mixed-strain trios provided a more powerful experimental design than housing them separately. Further, if strains had different coat pigments, their design obviated the need for marking cage mates, a procedure that can be stressful for the animals. The work thus has the potential to reduce numbers of animals used in studies of this kind and is also a refinement as stress due to marking can be avoided. The project was funded by UFAW and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Congratulations to the team on this award.