Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Laboratory Mice, Rats, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits

This code is made under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and applies to all institutions breeding and using such animals for research, testing and teaching.

The primary objective of this code is to establish minimum standards and promote recommendations for the housing and care of these species.


  1. Introduction, purpose and scope of this code
  2. Definitions and acronyms
  3. Principles, minimum standards and recommendations for the housing and care of laboratory mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits
    Part 3.1 — Nutrition

    Part 3.2 — Animal enclosures

    Part 3.3 — Climate control

    Part 3.4 — Behaviour and environmental enrichment

    Part 3.5 — Maintenance and hygiene

    Part 3.6 — Handling and basic procedures

    Part 3.7 — Health monitoring

    Part 3.8 — Transportation

    Part 3.9 — Euthanasia

    Part 3.10 — Monitoring and records


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Page last updated: 23 Jun 2020