In social species, social housing can significantly reduce stress. As singly housed animals lack access to this resource, The Guide recommends that singly housed animals receive additional enrichment. Examples of environmental enrichment include nesting materials for mice and hide or gnawing opportunities for rats. The objectives of environmental enrichment are to provide sensory and motor stimulation and aid in the expression of species-specific behaviors.
Therefore, beginning on Friday, July 1, all singly housed animals will be provided additional enrichment. This additional item will be added to the home cage on the first cage change an animal is noted to be singly housed. Any additional enrichment provided will be listed in the species-specific Approved Animal Enrichment Database and will be different from the enrichment item already present in their home cage.
Please see the updated Environmental Enrichment for Animals SOP for more information. This SOP change will not supersede any study specific requirements for withholding enrichment as justified in your approved animal use protocol.
If you have any additional questions please contact Dr. Jennifer Lofgren, Associate Attending Veterinarian for Practice Standards and Enrichment, at firstname.lastname@example.org.