Mouse Welfare Terms provides a list of standardised terms and phrases which can be utilised to provide descriptions of the behavioural and physiological characteristics of mice which may have an impact on their welfare.
The consequences of genetic modification can range from animals with no observable phenotype to one which causes significant suffering, the latter animals requiring considerable specialist care and husbandry. With the extensive sharing of GM animals between laboratories and institutions, this knowledge need to transferred alongside the animals to recipient animal facilities and laboratories in order for the latter to successfully rear and maintain stock animals, to minimise detrimental welfare issues and to reduce animal suffering. Use of “mouse welfare terms” will facilitate this by providing a list of standardised terms and vocabulary as excel spreadsheets with accompanying definitions (covering appearance, body systems, behaviour and breeding) which can be utilised to provide readily understandable, cage-side descriptions of particular phenotypes. These should be utilised in complying the phenotypes GM passport http://science.rspca.org.uk/sciencegroup/researchanimals/implementing3rs/gapassport.
This list was compiled by animal care staff at the MRC Harwell (UK) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK).
This resource will be of benefit both to animal care staff and researchers who use GM animals in their research.
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