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Noise and Vibration in the Vivarium: Recommendations for Developing a Measurement Plan

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Noise and vibration are present in every room of laboratory animal vivaria, with great variability from room-to-room and facility-to-facility. Such stimuli are rarely measured. As a result, the many stakeholders involved in biomedical research, (for example, funding agencies, construction personnel, equipment manufacturers, animal facility administrators, veterinarians, technicians, and scientists) have little awareness of the effects such stimuli may have on their research animals. Noise and vibration present a potential source of unrecognized animal distress, and a significant, uncontrolled and confounding variable in scientific studies. Unmeasured and unrecognized noise and vibration can therefore undermine the fundamental goals of the 3R's to refine animal models and reduce the number of animals used in biomedical and behavioral research. This overview serves to highlight the scope of this problem and proposes a series of recommended practices to limit its negative effects on research animals and the scientific data derived from them. These practices consist of developing a written plan for managing noise and vibration concerns, assessment of noise and vibration both annually and whenever unexpected changes in the facility or animals are observed, and for maintaining levels of chronic noise below thresholds that might cause animal welfare concerns or disruptions in ongoing studies.
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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois; Turner Scientific, Jacksonville, Illinois; , [email protected], Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 1, 2020

This article was made available online on September 14, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Noise and Vibration in the Vivarium: Recommendations for Developing a Measurement Plan".

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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