In-Tank Underwater Cameras can Refine Monitoring of Laboratory Fish

Laboratory animals need to be monitored to check the status of their health and welfare. Routine checks of laboratory fish are limited to visual observations of physical appearance and behaviour, but for species held in opaque-walled tanks, such checks are compromised by restricted views, poor visibility and provoked behaviour. Here, we report our experience of […]

Physiological and health consequences of social status in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Social status affects access to food, mates and shelter and has consequences for the physiology of individuals and their health status. In the zebrafish (Danio rerio), an emerging model for studies into animal behavior, the possible consequences of social hierarchy to an individual’s physiology and health are unknown. To address this, in this species we […]

Tailfin clipping, a painful procedure: Studies on Nile tilapia and common carp

The fish welfare debate is intensifying. Consequently, more research is carried out to further our knowledge on fish welfare in aquaculture. We define here a series of key parameters to substantiate an acute response to a supposedly painful stimulus: a standardized tailfin clip. Ultrastructural analysis of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) tailfin indicates the presence of […]

The effect of substrate availability on behavioural and physiological indicators of welfare in the African cichlid (Oreochromis mossambicus)

Male African cichlids (Oreochromis mossambicus) establish territories on the substrate upon which spawning pits are dug, thus attracting females. The substrate, therefore, plays a very significant role in its lifecycle. The effects of substrate access on behaviour and physiology in captivity were assessed. Mixed-sex, all-male and all-female groups were observed for five days, with and […]

Does environmental enrichment promote recovery from stress in rainbow trout?

The EU Directive on animal experimentation suggests that all protected animals should have enrichment to improve welfare yet relatively little research has been conducted on the impact of enrichment in fish. Studies employing enrichment in zebrafish have been contradictory and all fish species should be provided with species-specific enrichments relevant to their ecology. Salmonids are […]

The impact of social context on behaviour and the recovery from welfare challenges in zebrafish, Danio rerio

Understanding how animals experience stress in a laboratory environment is crucial for improving their welfare. Increasing numbers of fish are being used in scientific studies and further research is required to ensure appropriate conditions are used to promote good conduct and correct housing as well as guaranteeing scientifically valid results. As zebrafish are a gregarious […]