there should be enough space and enough feeding points to minimize competition for food and ensure access to food for all animals, especially if feed is restricted as part of the protocol or management routine. Food-storage containers should not be transferred between areas that pose different risks of contamination, and they should be cleaned and sanitized regularly.

Moderate restriction of calorie and protein intakes for clinical or husbandry reasons has been shown to increase longevity and decrease obesity, reproduction, and cancer rates in a number of species (Ames and others 1993; Keenan and others 1994). Such restriction can be achieved by decreasing metabolizable energy, protein density, or both in the diet or by controlling ration amount or frequency of feeding. The choice of mechanism for calorie restriction is species-dependent and will affect physiologic adaptations and alter metabolic responses (Leveille and Hanson 1966). Calorie restriction is an accepted practice for long-term housing of some species, such as some rodents and rabbits, and as an adjunct to some clinical and surgical procedures.

In some species (such as nonhuman primates) and on some occasions, varying nutritionally balanced diets and providing "treats," including fresh vegetables, can be appropriate and improve well-being. However, caution should be used in varying diets. A diet should be nutritionally balanced; it is well documented that many animals offered a cafeteria of unbalanced foods do not select a balanced diet and become obese through selection of high-energy, low-protein foods (Moore 1987). Abrupt changes in diet (which are difficult to avoid at weaning) should be minimized because they can lead to digestive and metabolic disturbances; these changes occur in omnivores and carnivores, but herbivores (Eadie and Mann 1970) are especially sensitive.

Water

Ordinarily, animals should have access to potable, uncontaminated drinking water according to their particular requirements. Water quality and the definition of potable water can vary with locality (Homberger and others 1993). Periodic monitoring for pH, hardness, and microbial or chemical contamination might be necessary to ensure that water quality is acceptable, particularly for use in studies in which normal components of water in a given locality can influence the results obtained. Water can be treated or purified to minimize or eliminate contamination when protocols require highly purified water. The selection of water treatments should be carefully considered because many forms of water treatment have the potential to cause physiologic alterations, changes in microflora, or effects on experimental results (Fidler 1977; Hall and others 1980; Hermann and others 1982; Homberger and others 1993). For example, chlorination of the water supply can be useful for some species but toxic to others (such as aquatic species).

Watering devices, such as drinking tubes and automatic waterers, should be



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement