Lab animals are critical in scientific research, especially in the investigation of diseases that afflict humans and faunae. Records of yore indicate that rats were bred for experimentation as early as the mid-1800s. According to “The Curious History of the Lab Rat,” for almost 200 years tens of millions of rats have played a central role in science, with that number only recently surpassed by mice.
Back in the day, lab animal supplies were limited to instruments used for experimentation. In 1985, amendments to the U.S. Animal Welfare Act mandated that labs pay heed to the psychological well-being of animals by enlarging their enclosures and providing them with stimulation in the form of toys and companions. After all, we use lab animals for their remarkable genetic similarity to humans, and it behooves us to treat them well. And that’s where lab animal supplies become important.