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. 

The latest edition of the seminal reference on the care and management of laboratory and research animals. The newly revised ninth edition of The UFAW Handbook on the Care and Management of Laboratory and Other...

Current mouse handling methods during cage change procedures can cause stress and potentially compromise animal welfare. Our previous study of breeding C57BL/6J mice found modest increases in pup production and a significant reduction in preweaning...

Low-stress handling methods have been studied in detail in mice, but relatively little research exists concerning preferred handling methods in rats. Most recommendations for low-stress handling of rats have been extrapolated from the mouse literature...

Monitoring the activity of mice within their home cage is proving to be a powerful tool for revealing subtle and early-onset phenotypes in mouse models. Video-tracking, in particular, lends itself to automated machine-learning technologies that...

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...

This work aimed to define a humane endpoint scoring system able to objectively identify signs of animal suffering in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Sprague-Dawley male rats were divided into control and induced...

Mobile zoos are events in which non-domesticated (exotic) and domesticated species are transported to venues such as schools, hospitals, parties, and community centres, for the purposes of education, entertainment, or social and therapeutic assistance. We...

There is an ethical responsibility to provide all animals living in human care with optimal and positive well-being. As animals living in zoos and aquariums frequently interact with their human caregivers as part of their...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 29 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and share experiences of...

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...

Lifting mice by the tail is of animal welfare and scientific concern, but rat lifting methods are little researched, potentially differing from mice. Using an online questionnaire we explored different methods for lifting laboratory rats...

Animal-based research is essential to the study of sepsis pathophysiology, diagnostics, and therapeutics. However, animal models of sepsis are often associated with high mortality because of the difficulty in predicting imminent death based on premortem...

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...

Based on queries received during our 2021 LASA 3Rs’ presentation, we describe operational highlights and concerns that came up during the rollout of nonaversive handling as standard of care at our mouse breeding facility. We...

Surveys provide a low-cost means to obtain large amounts of data that are ideal for conducting exploratory research, and they are becoming an increasingly valuable tool in a veterinary context. We investigated whether surveys of...

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...

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement of laboratory animal welfare, the North American 3Rs Collaborative (NA3RsC) brought together several experts to examine the evidence, impact, and practicality of alternative methods for picking up...

Non-aversive handling is a well-documented refinement measure for improving rodent welfare. Because maternal stress is related to reduced productivity, we hypothesized that welfare benefits associated with non-aversive handling would translate to higher production and fewer...

This article describes the strategies employed by Kumamoto Sanctuary in Japan to integrate 3 retired chimpanzees – who each spent 30 years singly housed in a biomedical facility – with the sanctuary’s other residents.

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...

There is increasing evidence that, compared to non-aversive handling methods (i.e., tunnel and cupping), tail handling has a negative impact on mouse welfare. Despite this evidence, there are still research organisations that continue to use...

“Gentling” (soft touching, “taming”) has long-term effects on the behavior of laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus). Our own studies showed that the use of a “gentling” program in the fourth and fifth week of life resulted...

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...