Adaptation period of laboratory animals after transport: a review
Transporting animals leads to a temporary disturbance of normal physiology (homeostasis). After an adaptation period in the new laboratory, the animals must have returned to their normal physiological state. A literature survey was performed
in order to establish the minimum necessary length of the adaptation period of mice, rats and rabbits after transport. The minimum length of the period for adaptation that was considered necessary varied from none to 78 weeks; in most studies an adaptation period of 7 days was considered sufficient. However, in most studies no proper experimental setup had been used: either the controls were housed at a different location, or they were sampled at different time points, as compared to the transported animals. Besides transport per see additional factors like a shift in the light-dark rythm, will also disturb the homeostasis. The separate supply of food and water sources during transport is recommended. More research into the effects of transport stress per se is needed, as well as into the interaction of transport stress with other environmental factors occurring simultaneously.