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Laboratory Animal Husbandry by Michael W. Fox

By Michael W. Fox

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It was concluded that many investigators do not realize the influence of these and other environmental variables on experimental results or at least do not adequately describe the environmental history of animals used for experimentation. Page xiv A similar analysis of over 4000 scientific articles published between 1972 and 1974 on psychological, nutritional, physiological, and biochemical studies in which animals were used as subjects was done by Lang and Vesell (1976). There were insufficient details of species and strains used; less than 20 percent of reports mentioned physical factors such as conditioning prior to study, amount of handling, and method of selection for experimental groupings.

Details about other environmental variables such as photoperiod, humidity, ventilation, and ambient temperature were even more sparse. The authors found that investigators generally ignore the impact on experimental results caused by the many variables that can affect their animals, and they observed: The omissions suggest that many investigators do not fully recognize the influence of environmental and genetic variables on experimental results, or the fact that failure to give an adequate description of these variables makes it difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate an experiment in other laboratories.

However, according to Kaplan et al. (1983), the heart rates of chair-restrained monkeys are elevated, indicative of physical discomfort and emotional distress. In over 80 percent of the Page 13 Figure 2-2 Confinement evoked stereotyped circling in a laboratory beagle. animals studied following their attachment to a tether, heart rate measurements eight and 10 days following attachment was substantially elevated over pre- and postattachment periods. And of four monkeys tethered for a month or more, three failed to show heart rate declines to pre-tether levels.

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