Environmental enrichment

The European Directive 2010/63/EU approved in 2010 defines the new rules on the protection of an- imals used for scientific purposes. It is now officially acknowledged that the maintenance of excellent animal welfare is a key factor in the outcome of any scientific experiments, leading to more reli- able results. These are minimum requirements, which allow Animal Facility Managers and veterinary doctors to create tailor-made solutions based on the specific needs arising from individual research projects, particularly with regard to environmental enrichment and to the monitoring of microbiological and microclimatic conditions. A research environment can be unnatural and stressful for the animals. Thus, environmental enrichment is an essential part of a successful research program.