Resources, 1720 East Campus Loop,
Missouri 65201: 573-882-8486,
periods of time and observing for compatibility. Once that compatibility has been
established, the cap can be removed permanently. If animals need to be isolated
for veterinary or study requirements, the
cap can be replaced at any time.
Initially, a metal hose clamp was utilized
to secure the adapter as the collar. This
was unsuccessful as the rabbits removed
the clamp and collar within 24 hours.
There have not been any problems with
securing this slice with PVC cement only.
Once the tunnel is installed, it cannot
be removed. Thus, individual cage bodies cannot be removed from the rack.
However all components are sanitizable
and durable in the cagewasher and it
was unnecessary to remove the cage
bodies even before this modification.
The 6” diameter tunnel is large enough
to accommodate retired breeder females
that are in excess of 4 kg.
This modification allowed two adult
female rabbits to share 12 ft. 2 This would
also be ideal for housing multiple smaller
rabbits. In the 12 months of use, the Office of Animal Resources has experienced
no adverse effects from this modification
to the cleaning, sanitation, feeding or
watering processes, or animal health.
In conclusion, by utilizing existing
caging and constructing a simple,
inexpensive, durable tunnel system,
compliance was maintained, but more
importantly, the animals' enrichment
was greatly improved. This modification also drastically reduced the
necessity of additional space and staff
resources needed for
the 'old' socialization
method of reserving
and cleaning socialization cubicles.
Dana Weir, BS,
CMAR, LATG, is the
Manager for Research
Operations with the
Office of Animal
Resources, at the
University of Missouri - Columbia. She
graduated from the
University of Missouri with a Bachelor
of Science in Animal
Science. She spent 10
years in the pharmaceutical and CRO
business as a Technician, Supervisor, and
before coming to the
University of Missouri
5 years ago to serve as
Office of Animal
Figure 3. This yellow arrow shows the slice of adapter fitting securely over the protruding edge of pipe in Cage 2 and fitting flush against
the cage wall (A). This slice acts as the collar on this side to securely seat the tunnel within the cage hole (B).