Refinement Database

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

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

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

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 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. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

The overpopulation of shelters and the increase of homeless dogs have become serious problems in many countries. One contributor to the number of both sheltered and homeless dogs is the abandonment and relinquishment of pet...

Unwanted dogs are an international problem, and rehoming organisations are tasked with finding many of them appropriate homes. Whilst the processes involved in assessing dogs' suitability for rehoming have received considerable academic attention, the policies...

Metabolism cages are designed to conduct absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) studies, enabling an ‘excretion balance’ scientific objective to be met. Historically, the design of dog metabolism cages has involved single housing. This type...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...

In dogs, the social and spatial restriction associated with living in a kennel environment could lead to chronic stress and the development of abnormal behaviors (“kennel-dog syndrome”). However, little is known about how kenneled dogs...

Saliva sampling is an easy, noninvasive method to assess short-term physiological changes, and as such is a valuable addition to behavioral studies in dogs. Different methods for collecting saliva samples in dogs have been reported...

This article describes the rehoming of 10 laboratory female rabbits now living as a group in a private shelter.

Disposal of dogs retired from commercial breeding facilities presents a scientific and ethical problem. This pilot study aimed to develop criteria for identifying commercial breeding (CB) dogs likely to be at risk for problems during...

For many dogs, receiving veterinary care can be a stressful, fearful or traumatic experience. However, understanding and improving the veterinary experience for dogs is challenging due to the dynamic nature of the veterinary visit, the...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...

The aim of this study was to assess hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that were subjected to relocation and surgery to evaluate HPA-axis activity; in addition, we used this marker...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 1 November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh and was attended by 70 delegates. Presentation topics included refinements in blood sampling rodents...

To investigate how long relocation modified hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits, 19 rabbits were subjected to a change in their breeding facility at the beginning of the trial and then were kept...

When laboratory dogs are rehomed into private households, they experience an extreme change in their life situation. They leave their familiar, limited environment in the research facility and encounter a multitude of animate and inanimate...

Here we describe a case of pseudopregnancy in a New Zealand White rabbit as a result of pair housing with an aggressive conspecific. Clinical signs included fur pulling and nest building that developed shortly after...

The most common methods for rabbit urine collection are newborn stroking, cystocentesis, and transfer to a metabolism cage.2 None of these options allow for a significant, quality amount of urine to be collected in vivo...

Adoption of research dogs to private homes is increasingly common; however, the transition can be stressful. Our teaching dog program prepares former laboratory dogs for adoption by introducing challenges experienced in a home setting. All...

Rabbit hypnosis or “trancing” was a common restraint technique used for minor procedures such as: nail clipping, tooth trimming, eye exams, and subcutaneous injections. In years past the technique was originally used on pet rabbits...

There is increased regulatory emphasis on positive reinforcement training for husbandry, research procedures, and restraint devices. We practice acclimation, association, and positive reinforcement training with our beagle colony with goals to reduce stress for dogs...

The overall benefits of an enrichment and exercise program for research canines has been well documented and is a required element, by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), of any institution’s Animal Care and...

On Swiss rabbit breeding farms, group-housed does are usually kept singly for 12 days around parturition to avoid pseudogravidity, double litters and deleterious fighting for nests. After this isolation phase there is usually an integration...

This book focuses primarily on human kindness and compassion rather than on human cruelty, callousness, indifference, and egocentric endeavors. It is common knowledge that many lay people and professional researchers treat animals in their charge...

Investigators using companion animals for research are often faced with the dilemma of what to do with healthy animals when a study is complete. At our institution, it is not uncommon for investigators to submit...

COST Action B-24 established four working groups to research and discuss issues relevant to laboratory animal science. These included the housing of animals, environmental needs, refinement of procedures, genetically modified animals, and cost-benefit analysis. Based...

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