Animal environmental conditions

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​​​​​​​​A. Background & Definitions

The animal microenvironment, in addition to the enclosure space refers to other factors at enclosure level, such as temperature, humidity, composition of air, illumination, noise, and vibration, all of which can impact animal well-being and therefore, research outcomes. Of particular importance is the performance of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) that must provide the appropriate environment to the species housed. The type of enclosure (e.g. IVC) may impact the decision on the HVAC established parameters at room level. As temperature is normally provided below the thermoneutral zone (the temperature range in which thermoregulation occurs without the need to increase metabolic heat production or activate evaporative heat loss mechanisms), provision of resources for thermoregulation is important

​B. Guidance & Expectations

The following topics must be controlled and recorded:

  • Air changes/hour in room and individually ventilated cages (IVC)
  • Ranges of air temperature ​by species
  • Possibilities for thermoregulation at cage level
  • Ranges of relative humidity​ by species
  • Light source, intensity and cycle​


  • To take in account if IVC is connected to room ventilation, to adjust room HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) parameters
  • To coordinate thermoregulation resources with environmental enrichment program (see section # 3)
  • To avoid direct exposure of light to albino animals in cages in upper shelves
  • To avoid having nearby sources of noise and vibration

C. Resources

Template to describe information related to animal care and use (all items covered by Section 3.4.1) - 3.4.1 Animal care and use.docx

ARRIVE guidelines 2019 for reporting animal research

Online and other av​​ailable guidance:

  • ​Annex III of Directive 2010/63/EU. [1]
  • Appendix A of European Convention ETS 123. [2]
  • Chapter 3 of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, NRC 2011. [3]
  • Housing and Husbandry [4]

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