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Housing for Rodents (Scientific Classification: order of rodentia)

The primary physical and social environment for rodents.  Research regulated by PHS Policy applies to all rodents. The AWA excludes from its regulation rats (genus: rattus), mice (genus: mus) and birds bred for research; all other rodents, including hamsters and guinea pigs, are regulated under the AWA.

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As well described in the IACUC Handbook (pg. 208), housing is established per PHS policy (III,B) when space is occupied for 24 hours or more.  The AWR (§2.31,c,2) requires the IACUC to conduct semi-annual inspections in areas where animals reside for 12 or more hours, and PHS policy (II) requires adherence to the AWA; therefore, some institutions consider an area to be housing after 12 hours for all animals, including rodents.

Housing should provide for the animal's well-being, permit rodents to grow and mature, and minimize variations that affect research results.

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