Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every four months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Tips for using the database:

  • This landing page displays all of the publications in the database.
  • Use the drop-down menus to filter these publications by Animal Type, Setting, and/or Topic.
  • Clicking on a parent category (e.g., Rodent) will include publications relating to all the items in that category (e.g., Chinchilla, Gerbil, Guinea Pig, etc.).
  • You may also add a keyword to further narrow your search.
  • Please note that at this time, only publications dated 2010 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Voluntary oral drug administration using sweet substances promotes rodents’ therapeutic compliance while reducing stress induced by forced drug administration. We aimed to test whether rats would willingly eat strawberry jam or condensed milk from a...

Empirical evidence suggests fishes meet the criteria for experiencing pain beyond a reasonable doubt and zebrafish are being increasingly used in studies of pain and nociception. Zebrafish are adopted across a wide range of experimental...

Tail docking is a husbandry practice widely incorporated in sheep farms around the world. It is an irreversible mutilation that impairs animal welfare, both immediately and in the longer term. The defence of tail docking...

The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate the non-inferiority between lidocaine-impregnated ligation bands (LLBs) and control bands (CBs) with respect to the efficacy of castration and tail docking. Secondary objectives were to compare...

Pre-emptive local analgesia with the use of lidocaine is practised increasingly in veterinary medicine as part of applied multimodal analgesia, despite its controversial impact on wound healing. The purpose of this prospective, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled...

Drug safety and efficacy studies frequently use oral gavage, but repetitive usage may cause problems. Administration through voluntary ingestion represents an opportunity for refinement. We aimed to develop a protocol for voluntary ingestion of gelatin-based...

Background Management of pain is critical to improve the welfare of farmed livestock and meet consumer expectations. There is limited published information about the use of analgesic drugs in the sheep sector. Methods A mixed-method...

The rabbit is a popular animal model for human biomechanical research involving surgery on the hind limb. Mortality is higher in rabbits when undergoing general anesthesia compared to dogs and cats. Moreover, due to their...

Background: The objective of this study was to determine the threshold of the Bristol Rabbit Pain Scale (BRPS) indicating the need for intervention analgesia. Methods: Fourteen members of veterinary staff were recruited to rate rabbits...

Oral vaccines are gaining attention for their ease of administration and ability to activate mucosal immune responses. However, preclinical studies using this route often require the use of gavage, which has limitations. In this comment...

Prevention of pain in rabbits is a priority for both welfare and validity of scientific data. We aimed to determine if the rabbit grimace scale (RbtGS) could be used as a viable, rapid assessment tool...

Modified Handling for Mice: Handling mice by gripping the base of the tail has been shown to negatively impact animal welfare by increasing anxiety and aversion to handling. We aimed to refi ne the dosing...

Research primates may undergo surgical procedures making effective pain management essential to ensure good animal welfare and unbiased scientific data. Adequate pain mitigation is dependent on whether veterinarians, technicians, researchers, and caregivers can recognize and...

Field evidence indicates that livestock producers are motivated by access to products that readily deliver pain management during husbandry interventions and, more recently, viral epidermal infectious diseases, including FMD. There has been impressive adoption in...

Sociocultural changes in the human–animal relationship have led to increasing demands for animal welfare in biomedical research. The 3R concept is the basis for bringing this demand into practice: Replace animal experiments with alternatives where...

Preclinical drug studies routinely administer experimental compounds to animal models with the goal of minimizing potential adverse events from the procedure. In this study, we assessed the ability to train adult male Long Evans rats...

The transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block causes desensitization of the abdominal wall and peritoneum. Of all the approaches proposed to perform it, the two-injection-point TAP showed the best results in terms of the area reached...

With ongoing animal welfare efforts, multimodal analgesia is often recommended to implement in study protocols. Buprenorphine with very potent analgesic effect is a standard opioid for the use in this context in rats. In this...

Despite the need for safe and effective postoperative analgesia in neonates, research regarding pain management in neonatal rodents is relatively limited. Here, we investigate whether sustained release buprenorphine (Bup SR) effectively attenuates thermal hypersensitivity in...

There is limited information on safe and effective neonatal rodent analgesia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and duration of analgesia provided by buprenorphine (Bup) and lidocaine (Lid) in an incisional...

The RSPCA/UFAW rodent and rabbit welfare group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 27 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and share...

Castration has been demonstrated to cause pain in sheep. However, it is routinely performed for management purposes. Electroencephalography (EEG) has been used successfully to measure pain in lambs in response to castration and other husbandry...

Pain causes behavioral, autonomic, and neuroendocrine changes and is a common cause of animal welfare compromise in farm animals. Current societal and ethical concerns demand better agricultural practices and improved welfare for food animals. These...