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How small mammals are used in research – EARA feature


Rabbit

EARA has published its latest feature about small mammals used in biomedical research, looking at species such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and even naked mole rats.


Though these animals are not used in research as commonly as mice and rats, they nonetheless provide valuable insights into everything from safety tests to developing vaccines, to understanding a range of different diseases and conditions.


For example, rabbits can be better than rodents for investigating medical interventions to treat blindness and repair damaged uteruses, as well as develop antibody treatments, while hamsters have been helpful for testing new ways to treat Covid-19.


The article also explores the numbers of small mammals used in the EU (rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters made up less than 6% of the total animals used in the latest figures), as well as their welfare, and where studies using these species are being reduced, replaced and refined (the 3Rs).

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