Working to improve the welfare of laboratory rodents is extremely important because the vast majority of animals used in research and testing are mice and rats.
The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group provides a forum for scientists, animal technologists and veterinarians to exchange ideas on implementing the 3Rs within rodent care and use.
A key aim of the Group is to encourage people to take account of the whole lifetime experience of laboratory rodents, ensuring that every potential impact on their wellbeing has been reviewed and refined.
The Group holds annual meetings with presentations and interactive sessions, which often address specific themes. Previous topics have included rat welfare, wild rodent care, rodent welfare assessment and welfare issues associated with Individually Ventilated Cages (IVCs).
Reports of past meetings
The research animals department also produces the meeting reports (see right), which are available to those using and caring for rodents worldwide.
All the reports from previous years' meetings are available in the journal Animal Technology and Welfare (for the meetings held 1998-2004 & 2008-2012) and Lab Animal (2005-2007). The report of the latest meeting - held in October 2013 - will be published in 2014.