Refinement Database

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

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

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, Setting, 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, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Drug safety and efficacy studies frequently use oral gavage, but repetitive usage may cause problems. Administration through voluntary ingestion represents an opportunity for refinement. We aimed to develop a protocol for voluntary ingestion of gelatin-based...

Rats emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs), sometimes referred to as 50-kHz vocalizations, during activities such as play and lower-frequency USVs, sometimes referred to as 22-kHz vocalizations, when experiencing distress. Definitions of 22-kHz vocalizations vary in terms...

Vocal communication, cognition, and affective state are key features of sustained health and wellness, and because vocalizations are often socially-motivated, social experience likely plays a role in these behaviors. The monoaminergic systems of the ventral...

To ensure the optimal living conditions of farm animals, it is essential to understand how their senses work and the way in which they perceive their environment. Most animals have a different hearing range compared...

Practical mechanisms that can be implemented by animal facilities to enhance refinement include the use of non-aversive handling, non-invasive alternative procedures, and additional environmental enrichment. Thus, we sought to collate these techniques by developing a...

Oral vaccines are gaining attention for their ease of administration and ability to activate mucosal immune responses. However, preclinical studies using this route often require the use of gavage, which has limitations. In this comment...

The goals of this study were to determine whether mice would adapt to a low-calorie flavored water gel as their sole source of hydration and whether the addition of acetaminophen, tramadol, meloxicam, or buprenorphine to...

Precise oral dosing in rodents is usually achieved by intragastric gavage. If performed incorrectly due to technical difficulties, inexperience, or animal resistance, oral gavage may have animal welfare implications such as esophageal and gastric rupture...

Modified Handling for Mice: Handling mice by gripping the base of the tail has been shown to negatively impact animal welfare by increasing anxiety and aversion to handling. We aimed to refi ne the dosing...

It is desirable to administer drugs by the least invasive route to (1) optimise welfare, (2) reduce the risk of injury to animal handlers and (3) minimise the impact of restraint and transient pain on...

Preclinical drug studies routinely administer experimental compounds to animal models with the goal of minimizing potential adverse events from the procedure. In this study, we assessed the ability to train adult male Long Evans rats...

Oral administration of medication to experimental animals is a cause of significant stress. When coupled to animals who are already under strenuous circumstances due to the disease being modelled, there is a significant risk for...

‘Tickling’ induces positive affective states in laboratory rats as evidenced by the production of 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalisations (USVs), although this has mostly been investigated in males. Juvenile rats emit distinctive 50-kHz USV subtypes. Frequency-modulated (FM)...

Mice can be prone to skin lesions for various reasons. Green clay is a non-invvasive method to treat such skin lesions, and does not require veterinary approval or have properties that may interfere with an...

Vocal emissions in non-human mammals can be used as non-invasive indicators of animal emotion and welfare. Therefore, we aimed to validate the use of acoustic parameters as indicators of affective states and welfare in farmed...

The designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) system is one of the most widely used chemogenetic techniques to modulate the activity of cell populations in the brains of behaving animals. DREADDs are activated...

Drug administration to experimental rodents is often invasive and stressful, thus reducing animal welfare and potentially confounding experimental results. Methods of oral drug delivery in which rodents cooperate voluntarily minimize stress, pain and morbidity. We herein...

Long-term, multi-institutional assessments have become a reliable tool for evaluating patterns of wounding in zoo-living primates, with results informing on best practices for species-specific care protocols and population management strategies. For western lowland gorillas (Gorilla...

The RSPCA/UFAW rodent and rabbit welfare group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 27 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and share...

Social animals tend to possess an elaborate vocal communication repertoire, and rats are no exception. Rats utilize ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) to communicate information about a wide range of socially relevant cues, as well as information...

Oro-gastric gavage is used to accurately administer nutritional substances or drugs to animals. However, it induces stress and has a substantial risk of mishap. Incorporation into edible gels is difficult for lipid-based preparations. We report...

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...

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...

Pharmacological treatments in laboratory rodents remain a cornerstone of preclinical psychopharmacological research and drug development. There are numerous ways in which acute or chronic pharmacological treatments can be implemented, with each method having certain advantages...

Drug treatment studies in laboratory mice typically employ manual administration methods such as injection or gavage, which can be time-consuming to perform over long periods and cause substantial stress in animals. These stress responses may...