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Effects of Transfer from Breeding to Research Facility on the Welfare of Rats

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Department of Animals in Science & Society, Division of Animal Welfare & Laboratory Animal Science, Veterinary Faculty, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 3584 CM, The Netherlands
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Harlan Laboratories B.V., P.O. Box 553, Venray, 5800 AN, The Netherlands
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Department of Human and Animal Physiology, P.O. Box 338, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, 6700 AH, The Netherlands
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Department of Occupational Health, Safety and Environment, Free University, Amsterdam, 1081 HV, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2014, 4(4), 712-728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani4040712
Received: 27 June 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
This study measured effects of transfer on body temperature, stress hormone levels, body weight, behavior and water and food intake in rats. Environmental temperature strongly affected body temperature of rats and needs to be controlled. Male rats need to habituate for at least one week, females for two weeks after transfer.
Transfer from the breeding facility to a research facility is a stressful event for laboratory animals. Heat stress has been reported to constitute one of the major concerns during transport of animals. This study measured ambient and body temperature, corticosterone and glucose levels, body weight, behavior and water and food intake before, during and after transfer in Wistar rats. Decreased body weight, water and food intake were observed on the day of transfer in rats. Environmental temperature strongly affected body temperature of rats and needs to be controlled. Male rats need to habituate for at least one week, females for two weeks after transfer. View Full-Text
Keywords: transportation; transfer; body temperature; ambient temperature; glucose; corticosterone; behavior; Thermochron iButton; rats transportation; transfer; body temperature; ambient temperature; glucose; corticosterone; behavior; Thermochron iButton; rats
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Arts, J.W.M.; Oosterhuis, N.R.; Kramer, K.; Ohl, F. Effects of Transfer from Breeding to Research Facility on the Welfare of Rats. Animals 2014, 4, 712-728.

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