45 cm, including a raised area of approximately 55 × 30 cm where one rabbit or two compatible rabbits can be housed. Without a raised area, floor space should be 5600 cm2 for one rabbit and 6700 cm2 for two rabbits. According to Swiss law, one rabbit or two compatible rabbits can be housed in a cage with a floor that measures 4200 cm2 + 1800 cm2 with a height of 60 cm (SOAP 1991).

In the process of refinement of housing standards, the following points should be taken into account:

  1. Biological facts and scientific evidence (related to the animals);

  2. Experimental tasks and constraints (related to the research goals);

  3. Practical experience (related to the debating subjects);

  4. Ethical principles (related to animal protection); and

  5. Assessment of economical and political reasonableness (related to human societies).


Bigler, L. 1995. Zusammenfassung der Ergebnisse radiologischer Untersuchungen an Zuchtzibben-Wirbelsäulen und Mastkaninchen-Femurknochen in der Schweiz von 1984-1995 [in German]. Bern: Bericht z.Hd. Bundesamt für Veterinärwesen.

CoE [Council of Europe]. 1986. European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes (ETS 123). Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Drescher, B. 1993. Zusammenfassende Betrachtung über den Einfluss unterschiedlicher Haltungsverfahren auf die Fitness von Versuchs- und Fleischkaninchen [in German]. Tierärztl Umschau 48:72-78.

Lidfors L. 1997. Behavioural effects of environmental enrichment for individually caged rabbits. Appl Anim Behav Sci 52:157-169.

NRC [National Research Council]. 1985. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. 6th Ed. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

NRC [National Research Council]. 1996. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. 7th Ed. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

SOAP [Swiss Ordinance on Animal Protection]. 1991. Schweiz. Tierschutzverprdnung vom 27. Mai 1081, Änderung vom 23. Oktober 1991. Bern: Eidgenössische Daten-und Materialzentrale, 1991.

Stauffacher, M. 2000. Refinement in rabbit housing and husbandry. In: M. Balls, A.-M. Van Zeller, M.E. Halder, eds. Progress in the Reduction, Refinement and Replacement of Animal Experimentation. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science B.V. Publ. p 1269-1277.

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