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. 
General anesthesia as used for rodent research can have adverse effects on physiologic mechanisms. Thermoregulation is often greatly inhibited, with resultant deleterious effects on cardiac and respiratory function. These potential effects can be mitigated by...
Human hair removal brands such as Nair™ are sometimes used in research to remove hair from mice before surgery, imaging, and other procedures.1,3 While the use of these depilatory creams in rodent research is relatively...
Surgical procedures are commonly performed using mice but can have major effects on their core body temperature, including development of hypothermia. In this study, we evaluated active perioperative warming with and without surgical draping with...
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...
The study of human–animal interactions has provided insights into the welfare of many species. To date, however, research has largely focused on human relationships with captive mammals, with relatively little exploration of interactions between humans...
General anesthesia induces many systemic effects, including thermoregulatory impairment and subsequent perioperative hypothermia. Due to the animals' small size, monitoring and maintaining body temperatures in laboratory rodents during anesthesia is important for successful surgical outcomes...
Rats commonly undergo surgery for research purposes. However, the effects of different methods of hair removal on wound healing and surgical site infections (SSI) in rats has not been evaluated. The current study evaluated 2...
Personality is often defined as the behaviour of individual animals that is consistent across contexts and over time. Personality traits may become unstable during stages of ontogeny from infancy to adulthood, especially during major periods...
General anesthesia is a common procedure in laboratory rats; however, it impairs thermoregulation, rapidly leading to hypothermia as warm core blood is distributed to the cooler periphery. The protective strategy of prewarming before the onset...
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...
Cattle mother-offspring contact calls encode individual-identity information; however, it is unknown whether cattle are able to maintain individuality when vocalising to familiar conspecifics over other positively and negatively valenced farming contexts. Accordingly, we recorded 333...
Individual responses, particularly based on personality, can have important consequences for individual fitness, based upon success in exploring new habitats, feeding on novel foods, and aggressiveness in competitive interactions. We conducted laboratory experiments to analyze...
Recent research suggests that personality, defined as consistent individual behavioral variation, in farm animals could be an important factor when considering their health, welfare, and productivity. However, behavioral tests are often performed individually and they...
Animal personalities are ubiquitous across the animal kingdom and have been shown both to influence individual behaviour in the social context and to be affected by it. However, little attention has been paid to possible...
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...
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...
Anaesthesia and analgesia are used frequently in laboratory routine to ensure animal welfare and good scientific outcomes in experiments that may elicit pain or require immobilisation of the animal. However, there is concern regarding the...
The transportation of mice into a new clean cage after surgery is a standard procedure but might have detrimental effects during the critical post-surgical recovery phase. To analyse the effect of post-surgical housing, female C57BL/6J...
This review will examine how individual differences in temperament might affect, or be affected by, behavioral management practices for captive primates. Measuring temperament may help us predict the outcome of social introductions. It can also...
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...
We investigated whether housing two female mice in a cage, separated by a grid partition ('living apart together') counters the adverse effects of individual housing on postoperative recovery. Results indicated that socially housed mice appear...
Our experience-based discussion suggests that social animals benefit from compatible companionship during post-operative recovery. The traditional practice of keeping animals alone in an unfamiliar environment after surgery increases the subjects surgery-associated stress. Providing a familiar...
Twenty-six reports provide detailed information of how primates can be trained to voluntarily cooperate - rather than resist - during blood collection, injection, topical drug application, blood pressure measurement, urine collection, and capture.

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