Hawkins, P., McBride, A., Paiba, G. et al. 2018. Report of the 2017 RSPCA/UFAW Rodent and Rabbit Welfare Group meeting. Animal Technology and Welfare 17(2), 75-83. [Meeting Report]
The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs of female breeding rabbits as a case study. Three speakers gave presentations on breeding rabbit behaviour, a Home Office perspective on providing enrichment 'appropriate to the species', and refining housing, husbandry and care for these animals in practice. The second session, on rodent welfare, comprised an update on the NC3Rs Year of Laboratory Rodent Welfare, reducing stereotypic digging in gerbils, enabling group housing in rats with vascular access buttons, positive emotions in rats, and good practice for housing male mice. The day ended with a discussion session on speaking up for rodents within Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) meetings and more generally. This report summarizes the meeting and ends with a list of action points for readers to consider raising at their own establishments.