An adequate acclimation period in advance of seasonal changes when animals are first introduced to outdoor housing.
Training of animals to cooperate with veterinary and investigative personnel and to enter chutes or cages for restraint or transport.
Species-appropriate social environment.
Grouping of compatible animals.
Adequate security via a perimeter fence or other means.
Areas like pastures and islands afford opportunities to provide a suitable environment for maintaining or producing animals and for some types of research. Their use results in the loss of some control over nutrition, health care and surveillance, and pedigree management. These limitations should be balanced against the benefits of having the animals live in more natural conditions. Animals should be added to, removed from, and returned to social groups in this setting with appropriate consideration of the effects on the individual animals and on the group. Adequate supplies of food, fresh water, and natural or constructed shelter should be ensured.
An animal's space needs are complex, and consideration of only the animal's body weight or surface area is insufficient. Therefore, the space recommendations presented here are based on professional judgment and experience and should be considered as recommendations of appropriate cage sizes for animals under conditions commonly found in laboratory animal housing facilities. Vertical height, structuring of the space, and enrichments can clearly affect animals' use of space. Some species benefit more from wall space (e.g., ''thigmotactic" rodents), shelters (e.g., some New World primates), or cage complexities (e.g., cats and chimpanzees) than from simple increases in floor space (Anzaldo and others 1994; Stricklin 1995). Thus, basing cage-size recommendations on floor space alone is inadequate. In this regard, the Guide might differ from the AWRs (see footnote 1, p.2).
Space allocations should be reviewed and modified as necessary to address individual housing situations and animal needs (for example, for prenatal and postnatal care, obese animals, and group or individual housing). Such animal performance indexes as health, reproduction, growth, behavior, activity, and use of space can be used to assess the adequacy of housing. At a minimum, an animal must have enough space to turn around and to express normal postural adjustments, must have ready access to food and water, and must have enough clean-bedded or unobstructed area to move and rest in. For cats, a raised resting surface should be included in the cage. Raised resting surfaces or perches are also often