Happy animals make good science

Lab Anim. 1997 Apr;31(2):116-24. doi: 10.1258/002367797780600198.


In this paper the question is posed whether it is not only better for the animal to be happy, but whether its state of mind may also have the potential to influence the scientific results derived from it. To ensure good science, the animal should have a normal physiology and behaviour, apart from specific adverse effects under investigation. There is a growing body of evidence from a wide variety of sources to show that animals whose well-being is compromised are often physiologically and immunologically abnormal and that experiments using them may reach unreliable conclusions. On scientific, as well as ethical grounds, therefore, the psychological well-being of laboratory animals should be an important concern for veterinarians, animal technicians and scientists.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry / methods*
  • Animal Welfare*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory / psychology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Research Design
  • Science / methods