“Rat Scratcher” wins 2019 animal welfare award

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.

Rat Scratcher 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.