Enrichment is the process of enhancing the animals’ environment to allow for species typical behavior.
The Behavior Management and Enrichment Program covers all animals housed within CCMS facilities:
- Nonhuman primates
- Guinea Pigs
- Social housing
- Food treats based on species
- Human interaction
Is Enrichment and Social Housing Necessary?
- According to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, “The primary aim of environmental enrichment is to enhance animal well-being by providing animals with sensory and motor stimulation through structures and resources that facilitate the expression of species-specific behaviors and promote psychological well-being through physical exercise, manipulative activities, and cognitive challenges according to species-specific characteristics.”
- Social housing is considered by AAALAC as the default method of housing unless otherwise justified based on social incompatibility, veterinary concerns, or scientific necessary approved by the IACUC.
- The Guide also states that single housing of social species should be the exception and justified based on experimental requirements of veterinary-related concerns about animal well-being.
Definition of Behavior Management
- Monitor behavior for all regulated species
- Provide positive reinforcement training in nonhuman primates
- Develop treatment plans for animals with stereopathy
- Perform consultations with researchers
Goals of Behavior Management and Enrichment Program (BMEP):
- Minimize stress induced behaviors
- Improve quality of research through enriched environments
- Allow animals to exhibit natural species-specific behavior in the laboratory setting
CCMS Social Housing Policy
- Social Housing is the best possible enrichment we can provide, so we work to ensure that all animals within CCMS facilities are socially housed
- IACUC Social Housing Policy: All species are socially housed unless single housing is justified based on social incompatibility, veterinary concern or scientific justification
- Animals can be singled housed for up to 72 hours without justification required
Small Animal BMEP
- Nesting material—mice
- Igloos for breeding/aggression cases—mice
- Huts—guinea pigs
- Gnawing today (rats, hamster, guinea, pigs)
Large Animal BMEP
- Nonhuman primates (NHP)
Large Animal Enrichment
- Pigs, rabbits, ferrets—food enrichment 3x/week
- Nonhuman primates—food enrichment daily
- Sheep—hay daily
For more information, please contact:
Kristina Carter Bartley B.Sc. M.Sc.Behavior Management and Enrichment Program Manager QA Education Specialist
Kristina Carter Bartley B.Sc. M.Sc.
Environmental Enrichment Coordinator