Does environmental enrichment promote recovery from stress in rainbow trout?

Pounder, Kieran C.; Mitchell, Jennifer L.; Buckley, Jonathan; Pottinger, Tom G.; Sneddon, Lynne U.. 2014 Does environmental enrichment promote recovery from stress in rainbow trout? [Poster] In: Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting, Manchester, UK, 30th June - 4th July. (Unpublished)

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The EC Directive on animal experimentation suggests that animals should have enrichment to improve welfare yet relatively little research has been conducted on the impact of enrichment in fish. Studies on zebrafish have been contradictory and other fish species may require species specific enrichments. Salmonids are important experimental models given their relevance to aquaculture and natural ecosystems. This study sought to establish how an enriched environment may promote better welfare in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) enhancing their recovery from invasive procedures. Trout were held individually in either barren or enriched (gravel, plants and an area of cover) conditions and recovery rates after a potentially painful event and a standard stressor were investigated by recording parameters such as behaviour, opercular beat rate and plasma cortisol concentrations. Fish were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: Control where the fish were left undisturbed; Sham where fish were anaesthetised but no invasive procedure; Pain where a subcutaneous injection of acetic acid was administered to the frontal lips during anaesthesia; and Stress where fish were subject to one minute of air emersion. Video recordings were made prior to treatment then at 30 minute intervals afterwards to determine whether fish in enriched conditions recovered more rapidly than those in barren tanks. Preliminary analyses suggest that enriched fish may be less stressed thus these findings have important implications for the husbandry and welfare of captive rainbow trout but may also affect the outcome of experimental studies dependent upon whether enrichment was adopted.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
Additional Keywords: stress, welfare, environmental enrichment
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 23 Sep 2015 10:16 +0 (UTC)

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