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General and species-specific recommendations for minimal requirements for the use of cephalopods in scientific research

Publication year 2023
Published in Laboratory Animals
Authors Giovanna Ponte, Katina Roumbedakis, Viola Galligioni, Ludovic Dickel, Cécile Bellanger, Joao Pereira, Erica Ag Vidal, Panos Grigoriou, Enrico Alleva, Daniela Santucci, Claudia Gili, Giovanni Botta, Pamela Imperadore, Andrea Tarallo, Lars Juergens, Emily Northrup, David Anderson, Arianna Aricò, Marianna De Luca, Eleonora Maria Pieroni, Graziano Fiorito

Here we list species-specific recommendations for housing, care and management of cephalopod molluscs employed for research purposes with the aim of contributing to the standardization of minimum requirements for establishments, care and accommodation of these animals in compliance with the principles stated in Directive 2010/63/EU. Maximizing their psychophysical welfare was our priority. General recommendations on water surface area, water depth and tank shape here reported represent the outcome of the combined action of the analysis of the available literature and an expertise-based consensus reached – under the aegis of the COST Action FA1301 – among researchers working with the most commonly used cephalopod species in Europe. Information on water supply and quality, environmental conditions, stocking density, feeding and handling are also provided. Through this work we wish to set the stage for a more fertile ground of evidence-based approaches on cephalopod laboratory maintenance, thus facilitating standardization and replicability of research outcomes across laboratories, at the same time maximizing the welfare of these animals.

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