Animal Care and Veterinary Services

Animal Husbandry and Care

All animals in all facilities receive care seven days a week. During weekends and holidays the time that animal care staff will be in the facility may be shortened. Emergency contact numbers are posted inside the facility in case you require assistance.

Environmental Enrichment

Requirements

Environmental enrichment refers to the practice of addressing the animal's psychological needs. The CCAC defines environmental enrichment as "additions to an animal's environment with which it can interact." The social needs of animals used in research, teaching, or testing should be given equal consideration with environmental factors. "As well, predictability in interactions usually enhances the animal's well-being, while the opposite results from frequent regrouping and restabilizing. It should be remembered that an animal's experiences during the developmental phases determine social behaviour."

For species-specific enrichment guidelines link to the CCAC Enrichment Guidelines web page.

Research staff are required to participate in environmental enrichment strategies for their animals.

Types

The best enrichment for most of the laboratory species is the company of another animal usually of the same species. Objects placed in the cage can be manipulated in a variety of ways and objects place near the cage can provide distraction.

Food can be used as environmental enrichment either by varying the diet with treats or presenting food in a novel manner. The investigator must approve the use of novel foods; however ACVS management may limit treats. Animals that receive too many treats do not consume enough of the standard diet, which may lead to malnourishment or obesity.

Please contact the Facility Manager if you have any questions pertaining to environmental enrichment.