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. 

Alone among Western nations, the United States has a two-tier system for welfare protections for vertebrate animals in research. Because its Animal Welfare Act (AWA) excludes laboratory rats and mice (RM), government veterinarians do not...

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...

Nesting material, for example shredded paper, is a common form of enrichment for laboratory mice. However, there has been limited research performed regarding its apparent safety when given to mice fitted with exteriorised devices such...

The revised fifth edition of Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine: An Introduction is an accessible guide to basic information for conducting animal research safely and responsibly. It includes a review of the unique anatomic and physiologic...

We studied how space allowance affects measures of animal welfare in mice by systematically varying group size and cage type across three levels each in both males and females of two strains of mice (C57BL/6ByJ...

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...

Minimum space allowances for laboratory rats are legislated based on weight and stocking rates, with the understanding that increased housing density encourages crowding stress. However, there is little evidence for these recommendations, especially when considering...

There is considerable interest in refining laboratory rodent environments to promote animal well-being, as well as research reproducibility. Few studies have evaluated the long term impact of enhancing rodent environments with resources and additional cagemates...

An unfavourable yet necessary side-effect of stereotaxic surgery involves the social isolation of post-surgery rats, in order to protect their wound site or skull-mounted implant from damage. Social isolation can cause a myriad of behavioural...

Various types of restraint collars have been used for research animals, and the Elizabethan collar (E-collar) is the most commonly used. However, animals can be choked by the E-collar or they tend to remove it...

The Principles and guidelines for the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes is a revision of NHMRC’s Policy on the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes 2003 (the Policy)...

Reduced space can lead to crowding in social animals. Crowding increases the risk of agonistic interactions that, in turn, may require additional physiological defensive coping mechanisms affecting health. To determine the stress induced from increased...

Biotelemetry can contribute towards reducing animal numbers and suffering in disciplines including physiology, pharmacology and behavioural research. However, the technique can also cause harm to animals, making biotelemetry a ‘refinement that needs refining’. Current welfare...

Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine: An Introduction, Fourth Edition offers a user-friendly guide to the unique anatomy and physiology, care, common diseases, and treatment of small mammals and nonhuman primates. Carefully designed for ease of use...

In the majority of countries where there are legislative requirements pertaining to the use of animals in research, figures are quoted for minimum cage sizes or space allocation to be provided per animal. These figures...

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...

To do justice to the diverse approaches to enrichment and behavioral management around the world would entail a discussion beyond the limits of this publication. Therefore, guidelines and regulations in a representative sample of countries...

It is now more than 20 years since both Council of Europe Convention ETS123 and EU Directive 86/609/EEC were introduced, to promote the implementation of the Three Rs in animal experimentation and to provide guidance...

The aim of the experiment was to study the effects of cage density (1, 3 and 5 rabbits per cage) and sex (male and female) on stress parameters of young rabbits. A total of 90...

Valuable recommendations for the species-adequate housing and species-approriate care of guinea pigs; topics include Housing (enclosure size, substrate, shelter, nesting material), Environmental Enrichment, and Husbandry (light, temperature, humidity, cleaning).

This article provides details to consider when preparing to use animals in biomedical research. The stress of transport and receipt of animals into a new environment mandate the need for a period of stabilization and...

Since the 1998 publication of The Psychological Well-Being of Nonhuman Primates by the National Research Council, and the 1991 implementation of the 1985 Animal Welfare Act Amendment, many formal and informal nonhuman primate enrichment programs...

This article provides a brief historical background of the events and circumstances that led to the 1985 Animal Welfare Act (AWA) amendments. It describes the development of the regulations promulgated by the US Department of...

In this article, laws and guidelines relating to rodent enrichment are reviewed, the natural behaviors of select rodent species are discussed, and an overview of widely used types of enrichment in laboratory rodent management is...

Federal welfare regulations for primates kept in research laboratories fail (1) to include recommendations pertaining to the legal requirement of the avoidance of stress and unnecessary discomfort during handling procedures, (2) to specify how the...

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