Klabukov, I., Shestakova, V., Krasilnikova, O. et al. 2023. Refinement of animal experiments: Replacing traumatic methods of laboratory animal marking with non-invasive alternatives. Animals 13(22), 3452.

Reliable methods for identifying rodents play an important role in ensuring the success of preclinical studies. However, animal identification remains a trivial laboratory routine that is not often discussed, despite the fact that more than 6 million rodents are used in animal studies each year. Currently, there are extensive regulations in place to ensure adequate anesthesia and to reduce animal suffering during experiments. At the same time, not enough attention is paid to the comfort of rodents during routine identification procedures, which can be painful and cause some complications. In order to achieve the highest ethical standards in laboratory research, we must minimize animal discomfort during the identification phase. In this article, we discuss traumatic methods of identification and describe several painless methods for marking in long-term experimental studies. The use of non-traumatic and non-invasive methods requires the renewal of marks as they fade and additional handling of the rodents. Laboratory personnel must be trained in stress-minimizing handling techniques to make mark renewal less stressful.

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