Rats Like to Be Tickled: Why Is the Animal Welfare Act So Lame?

Yesterday was one of those days when a lot of very interesting news continually popped up in my inbox. The first thing to arrive was an announcement about a research paper by Sylvie Cloutier, Kimberly L. Wahl, Jaak Panksepp, and Ruth C. Newberry called “Playful handling of laboratory rats is more beneficial when applied before than after routine injections” in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Next was an essay informing the world that pigs display empathy, and then I was informed about a special issue of the journal Behavioural Processes called “New Directions in Canine Behavior” (all of the essays can be downloaded free of charge) that is devoted to the behavior of dogs and our special relationship with these amazing beings. All of these publications deserve close attention as they provide gobs of information about recent research. They’re a free goldmine of detailed research, a rare occurrence these days.

“When will we stop killing them in research?” asked a six-year-old.

The one essay that caught my eye and made me reflect about the ways in which animals are used and abused is the first about the beneficial aspects of playfully handling laboratory rats, —> Read More Here


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