Enrichment Programs

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
  • Pigs
  • Sheep
  • Rabbits
  • Ferrets
  • Rodents
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hamsters

CCMS provides:

  • Social housing
  • Toys/Maniulanda
  • 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

  • Sheep
  • Ferrets
  • Rabbits
  • Pigs
  • 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