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. 

Whether you are an animal care/husbandry technician, facility manager, or veterinarian, everyone bemoans a leaky drinking valve (often referred to as a lixit). Leaking drinking valves and flooded cages are a fairly common problem when...

In conclusion, the investigations carried out up to now demonstrate that during the early stages fish show high sensitivity to many types of stressors involving an array of responses to overcome alterations that could affect...

Ammonia control is an important characteristic of rodent bedding materials. Among natural bedding materials, corncob bedding provides excellent ammonia control but contains estrogenic compounds and is ingested by mice. By comparison, processed cellulose bedding products...

The combination of bedding substrate and nesting material within the microenvironment of mice is an important consideration for animal care programs in regard to optimizing animal wellbeing. We used 3 general or breeding mouse colonies...

Feelings of fear, anxiety, dyspnea and panic when inhaling carbon dioxide (CO2) are variable among humans, in part due to differences in CO2 sensitivity. Rat aversion to CO2 consistently varies between individuals; this variation in...

Although nesting material is beneficial to the welfare of laboratory mice, provision of appropriate amounts may impair visualization of the mice. In anticipation of our academic research institution transitioning to providing 6 grams of nesting...

The AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia state that, to decrease potential distress of animals, the home cage should be used for the euthanasia of mice. The current study evaluated this recommendation by comparing behavioral and physiologic...

According to the Guide, cage change frequencies must be considered when cage density requirements are exceeded. We monitored ammonia, carbon dioxide, cage wetness, health status, and breeding parameters of trio and pair breeding cages containing...

Background: There has been increased concern about the suitability of CO2 as a method for euthanasia of laboratory mice and rats, including the potential discomfort, pain or distress that animals may experience prior to loss...

Due to the lack of L-cones in the rodent retina, it is generally assumed that red light is invisible to rodents. Thus, red lights and red filter foils are widely used in rodent husbandry and...

The use of millions of mice in scientific studies worldwide emphasises the continuing need for a reduction of sample sizes, however, not at the expense of scientific validity. Split-plot designs have been suggested to enhance...

Euthanasia in rodents is an ongoing topic of debate due to concerns regarding the aversive nature of gases with anesthetic properties such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and isoflurane. The aim of this study was to...

Bedding material is a critical component of the mouse environment and affects animal wellbeing and research integrity. Corn cob (CC) bedding has been a common bedding choice in research despite several potential negative aspects of...

This poster describes the development of a sifting cage change method for rats to improve welfare. I came up with the idea after seeing how skittish and stressed the rats in my unit were and...

The aim of this review is to summarize evidence regarding rat emotional experiences during carbon dioxide (CO2) exposure. The studies reviewed show that CO2 exposure is aversive to rats, and that rats respond to CO2...

Aggression in male mice often leads to injury and death, making social housing difficult. We tested whether (1) small group size, (2) early age of allocation to a group decreases aggression and 3) manipulation increases...

Zoos use ambassador animals in educational programs featuring close contact with humans. Chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera) at the Saint Louis Zoo are retrieved for programs by a keeper wearing brown handling gloves, but green cleaning gloves...

Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) have been used in research since the 19th century to collect data due to their physiological similarities to humans. Today, animals perform a vital role in experiments and concerns for laboratory...

This poster describes how the Animal Technologists at Envigo adapted their current practices and procedures for a new species at their laboratory: the cotton rat. The paper describes cotton rat biology and behaviour; housing; environmental...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 26 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues, and share experiences of...

Carbon dioxide and isoflurane are widely used for killing rats, yet may not truly achieve “euthanasia”, because they elicit aversion. The inhalant anesthetic desflurane is faster acting than isoflurane, representing a potential refinement. Using an...

Relocating laboratory animal research from one animal facility room to another in advance of major renovations can be a daunting task for scientists and animal care personnel alike. This is especially so regarding controlled lighting...

Intraperitoneal (IP) injection of sodium pentobarbital (PB) is an accepted method of euthanasia for mice. However, this method has important drawbacks, including the potential for pain or misinjection. The objective of this prospective, randomized, blinded...

‘Crunching’ is the term often used to describe the abnormal behaviour of mice that habitually crunch their pelleted diet, causing substrate levels to rise as the crumbs settle on the cage floor ultimately burying the...

Mice are a common animal model for the study of influenza virus A (IAV). IAV infection causes weight loss due to anorexia and dehydration, which can result in early removal of mice from a study...

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