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. 

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...

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...

Many in the lab animal field are familiar with shipping animals from vendor to investigator, from investigator to vendor, and from investigator to investigator. Sharing mouse models represents being good stewards of our animal resources...

The Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) at the Royal Veterinary College in London suggested providing post-operative pain relief (carprofen) to rats in raspberry flavoured jelly to avoid the use of s.c. injections. This article provides a...

The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals considers injection of barbiturates to be an acceptable method of euthanasia in rodents but states there is a potential for pain when administered intraperitoneally. This study examined...

There is a growing interest in the use of voluntarily displayed ongoing behaviours in laboratory animals to assess the pain experience. In rats, two behavioural pain scales, the Rat Grimace Scale (RGS, a facial expression...

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

Skin closure clips are widely used within the University of Edinburgh to close incision sites for various procedures in both rats and mice. In rats the skin closure clips very often come out as a...

Burrowing and nest building are examples of highly motivated innate behaviours in rodents. Assessments based on these behaviours can be used as non-invasive indicators of pain, distress and suffering. In this study, we investigated the...

Germ-free rats are fairly uncommon, relative to germ-free mice, and restraining these animals safely and effectively for compound administration and blood collection can be challenging. There are many commercially available varieties of restraint devices, but...

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...

Repeated injections in rats and mice are typically done via the tail vein. For hamsters, the tail is not an option. In this paper we explore the development and refinement of IV dosing in the...

This feature describes creative ways in which technology can be used to study animals within their home cages, eliminating the need to handle, restrain, and separate them from cage mates. One example includes voluntary brain...

There are varying methods used for animal restraint and angle of injection. It remains unclear whether one method is more accurate than others. The primary objectives were to examine whether inverted restraint of rats resulted...

Surgical implantation of tumour pieces has been used regularly in the passage of tumour models. This involves an invasive surgical procedure, carried out under anaesthesia, ensuring mice have adequate pain relief and peri-operative care. The...

The transportation of animals from supplier to experimental facility is one of the biggest stressors to animals in research. Transportation unavoidably causes stress and when the animals arrive at the testing facility they require a...

Studies typically involve groups of animals that are injected with placebo compounds. As there are studies that demonstrate that restraint and injection can affect behavior and corticosteroid levels in rodents, the basis of such placebo...

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...

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in women, and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women in North America. The use of laboratory mice in research is an...

Marmota monax is a valuable laboratory animal species used in studies of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), food intake, obesity, hibernation, and circannual cycles. This article describes the woodchuck’s (also known as groundhog) natural behavior and...

Due to potential adverse effects on animal wellbeing, the use of nonpharmaceutical-grade substances in animal research must be scientifically justified in cases where a pharmaceutical-grade version of the substance exists. This requirement applies to all...

Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models are created using fragments of human tumors subcutaneously implanted into immunodeficient mice. Solid tumor engraftment of mice is commonly performed with a 10-13 gauge trocar needle under general anesthesia. In this...

This article will discuss an improved and refined technique used for working and caring for a group of diabetic mice. As a team of animal technologists, academics and named veterinary surgeon, we developed a new...

The beneficial effects of environment and social support during disease recovery in humans are widely accepted. Because laboratory mice are social animals and are highly motivated to interact with each other and with their environment...

Restraint in animals is known to cause stress but is used during almost all scientific procedures in rodents, representing a major welfare and scientific issue. Administration of substances, a key part of most scientific procedures...

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