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. 

The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...

‘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...

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...

The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...

Injurious home-cage aggression (fighting) in mice affects both animal welfare and scientific validity. It is arguably the most common potentially preventable morbidity in mouse facilities. Existing literature on mouse aggression almost exclusively examines territorial aggression...

Stereotypical behaviours (SBs) are abnormal, repetitive behaviours often observed in captivity. SBs are linked to impoverished captive conditions, and stereotypic individuals show a particular set of behaviours (e.g. bolder personality, greater activity) indicating proactive coping...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

Previous research has shown that rats reared in simple/impoverished environments demonstrate greater repetitive responding for sensory reinforcers (e.g., light onset). Moreover, the brains of these rats are abnormally developed, compared to brains of rats reared...

Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...

Cognitive processes are influenced by underlying affective states, and tests of cognitive bias have recently been developed to assess the valence of affective states in animals. These tests are based on the fact that individuals...

Stereotypies are abnormal repetitive behaviour patterns that are highly prevalent in laboratory mice and are thought to reflect impaired welfare. Thus, they are associated with impaired behavioural inhibition and may also reflect negative affective states...

Environmental enrichment is used to enhance the well-being of captive animals and to prevent or reduce stereotypic and other abnormal behaviours. However, environmental enrichment does not always succeed in its intended purpose. We investigated whether...

Covering species-typical behavior as well as abnormal/malfunctional behavior and stereotypes observed in mice, rats, hamsters and gerbils, this is an excellent resource for those looking to implement or enhance an existing behavioral husbandry and enrichment...

Stereotypic behaviours (SBs) are linked with behavioural inflexibility and resemble symptoms of autism, suggesting that stereotypic animals could have autistic-like social impairments. SBs are also common in caged mice. We therefore hypothesised relationships between stereotypic...

The study of laboratory animal behavior has increased steadily over the last decade, with expanding emphasis on a variety of commonly used species. In the United States, this trend was initially focused on species for...

Some laboratory mice gnaw food pellets without ingesting much of the gnawed material, resulting in the production of waste material called orts. The fact that this food grinding behavior is not seen in all individuals...

Some laboratory mice gnaw food pellets without ingesting much of the gnawed material, resulting in the production of waste material. The fact that this food grinding behavior is not seen in all individuals of a...

Stereotypic behaviors are repetitive invariant behaviors that are common in many captive species and potentially indicate compromised welfare and suitability as research subjects. Adult laboratory mice commonly perform stereotypic bar-gnawing, route-tracing, and back-flipping, although great...

Barbering (incessant grooming) is an abnormal behavior causing alopecia and commonly affects various strains of laboratory mice, including C57BL/6J. Barbering-induced alopecia is a potential symptom of brain impairment and can indicate a stressful environment. We...

In management of laboratory animals, wet bedding created by mice and abnormal fur in mice cause problems on housing, leading to negative effects both on the wellbeing of mice and on the validity of experimental...

Improving the home cages of laboratory mice by environmental enrichment has been widely used to reduce cage stereotypies and anxiety-related behaviour in behavioural tests. However, enrichment studies differ substantially in type, complexity and variation of...

Most rodent studies evaluate different caging paradigms over short periods of time, which may not be realistic for typical colony settings. Inappropriate housing may lead to boredom, aggression, stereotypies, and altered metabolism, which in turn...

For captive animals, living in barren conditions leads to stereotypic behaviour that is hard to alleviate using environmental enrichment. This resistance to enrichment is often explained via mechanisms that decouple abnormal behaviour from current welfare...

Stereotyped motor behaviors are a common consequence of environmental restriction in a wide variety of species. Although environmental enrichment has been shown to substantially reduce stereotypy levels, the various components of enrichment have not been...

The combination of mouse igloos and running wheels proved to be highly effective in reducing flipping, circling, and jumping.

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