Predator-Prey Relationships
  • Is the individual in a species that normally relies on other animals as a source of food?

  • If the species is predatory, what is its normal mode of capturing prey and what stimuli are likely to elicit this behavior?

  • Are there any indications that the elicitation and frustration of predatory behaviors is an important significant source of stress or distress?

  • Should steps be taken to reduce or control the stimulation of predatory behaviors?

  • Are there frequent or chronic signs of defensive reactions, such as snarling, hissing, biting, cowering, and trembling?

  • What events or environmental conditions usually produce defensive reactions?

  • Have changes in physical arrangements, caretaking, or experimental procedures that might reduce defensive reactions been considered?

  • Is the animal in a species that normally uses shelters, dens, or cover?

  • What functions do shelters, dens, and cover normally serve for the species (e.g., protection from elements or from predators or a depository for young)?

  • If shelters, dens, and cover are provided in the captive environment, what purposes are they expected to serve? Are they adequately designed to fulfill these purposes?

  • Is sanitation a problem?

  • Does it appear that the animal's behavior is altered by the presence of shelters, dens, or cover so as to make it more fearful or more difficult to handle or to cause other effects that are undesirable from the standpoint of management and well-being?

  • Does the animal scent-mark? If so, is this considered in the provisions for sanitation of the cage?

Spatial Architecture (Volume, Structure, and Topography)
  • Does the volume of space meet the standards for the species recommended by the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC, 1985) and the Animal Welfare Regulations (CFR Title 9)?

  • How much of the available space is actually used by the animal, and how is it used?

  • Does the animal display repetitive and stereotyped motor patterns or other behaviors that point to some inadequacy?

  • Can caging arrangements be improved by adding perches, climbing devices, or other structures?

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