The “Rat Scratcher” was presented with the 2019 Janet Wood Innovation Award at the Institute of Animal Technology Congress in Liverpool, England earlier this month. The award, a program of the Datesand Group, aims to encourage laboratory animal technicians to come up with ideas that support the Three R’s of animal research: replacement, reduction and refinement.
Sarah Taylor of the University of Cambridge designed the Rat Scratcher to be suspended from the grid of a cage; it hangs low enough that rats can brush themselves by walking underneath it. The product will be produced and marketed by the Datesand Group to reach a broad audience.
The two other finalists for the award were the “C-Saw” by Pete Willan, which gives small rodents such as mice an opportunity for variable exercise and balance awareness; and the “Cage Companion” by Luke Mercer, a clip-on mirror that mice can interact with.
The Parsemus Foundation is proud to partner with the Datesand Group to encourage improved welfare for laboratory animals.