Refinement of tickling protocols to improve positive animal welfare in laboratory rats

Project Details


The project is aimed at refining the ‘rat-tickling’ protocol validated using indicators of the rats’ emotional response to tickling. We hypothesise that rats will show greater variability in indicators of positive affect when tickled using the standard protocol which involves ‘forceful pinning’, relative to a protocol we have developed that mimics the dynamic nature of play (playful protocol). We also hypothesise that the biological consequences of tickling (e.g. reduced stress response to restraint) will be less variable using the playful protocol, which will be important in encouraging greater uptake.
Short titleRat tickling
Effective start/end date1/12/2131/08/24


  • Positive animal welfare
  • laboratory animals
  • rat tickling
  • refinement
  • 3Rs


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