Many people are concerned about the welfare of the rats used at Barn Hunt Trials. The rats are treated with utmost respect and they are never, ever harmed. They are securely enclosed in PVC type tubes that give them plenty of airflow for their own health. And while having a big (or small) dog sniffing at them from outside the tube may seem stressful, when the rats are removed from the tubes they seem none the worse for wear.
The rats are raised and kept in loving homes by people who want nothing but the best for them. They can be loving members of any family. Rats are very smart, fun pets in and of themselves.
Every Barn Hunt Event has a couple of volunteers that are called Rat Wranglers, and it is their job to make sure that the rats are treated with tenderness and caring throughout the entire trials. Many rats are used so they can be rotated so that none of them get overly tired.
So please don't worry about the rats!