Camilla Bengtsson and Marie Eriksson, researchers at the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, have recently gained some international acclaim for their unique approach to handling and training laboratory mice and rats to reduce stress, anxiety, and fear. (See AWI Quarterly, summer 2020.) To help others implement a similar approach at their own institutions, they have produced a 55-minute training video detailing how they handle and train each species before, during, and after experiments. Thanks to a grant from AWI, this video is now available for free (scroll down to “Video for training” subheading).
The video describes how each animal, regardless of how long they are to remain in the laboratory, is gently handled and habituated to any procedures they will experience in the course of a study. Handling and training are attentive to individual differences, aiming to create an environment that is as stress-free as possible for the animals and, by extension, for the people working with them.