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. 

Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (SONFH) is a condition documented in humans and animals exposed to chronic steroid administration. The rabbit has become a preferred animal model for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of...

Although nesting material is beneficial to the welfare of laboratory mice, provision of appropriate amounts may impair visualization of the mice. In anticipation of our academic research institution transitioning to providing 6 grams of nesting...

The combination of bedding substrate and nesting material within the microenvironment of mice is an important consideration for animal care programs in regard to optimizing animal wellbeing. We used 3 general or breeding mouse colonies...

This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...

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...

The Mouse Grimace Scale (MGS) was developed 10 years ago as a method for assessing pain through the characterisation of changes in five facial features or action units. The strength of the technique is that...

The assessment of welfare and disease progression in animal models is critical. Most tools rely on evaluating individual subjects, whereas social behaviors, also sensitive to acute illness, chronic diseases, or mental health, are scarcely monitored...

In order to assess the extent to which the legally prescribed training for the acquisition of animal experimentation expertise provides scientific personnel with the necessary competence and expertise to carry out a correct harm-benefit analysis...

Regardless of the microbiological status of an animal facility, research animals may experience health problems, leading to pain, suffering and distress. Simple and efficient tools are needed to collect data systematically, allowing researchers to react...

A species-specific composite pain scale is a prerequisite for adequate pain assessment. The aim of this study was to develop a multidimensional pain scale specific to rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) called the Bristol Rabbit Pain Scale...

This study assessed the postoperative severity after three different visceral surgical interventions in rats by using objective parameters pertaining to various disciplines. The objective was to evaluate whether the degree of severity increases with the...

Animal models in psychiatric research are indispensable for insights into mechanisms of behaviour and mental disorders. Distress is an important aetiological factor in psychiatric diseases, especially depression, and is often used to mimic the human...

Voluntary wheel running (VWR) behaviour is a sensitive indicator of disturbed wellbeing and used for the assessment of individual experimental severity levels in laboratory mice. However, monitoring individual VWR performance usually requires single housing, which...

Evidence-based severity assessment is essential as a basis for ethical evaluation in animal experimentation to ensure animal welfare, legal compliance and scientific quality. To fulfil these tasks scientists, animal care and veterinary personnel need assessment...

The Mouse Grimace Scale (MGS) has been widely used for the noninvasive examination of distress/pain in mice. The aim of this study was to further improve its performance to generate repeatable, faster, blinded and reliable...

The Mouse Grimace Scale (MGS) is an established method for estimating pain in mice during animal studies. Recently, an improved and standardized MGS set-up and an algorithm for automated and blinded output of images for...

Behavioural indicators of affective state, including burrowing, clinical scores and the Mouse Grimace Score have not yet been validated in mouse models of chronic gastrointestinal disease. Additionally, a comparison of these methods has not been...

Assessing the well-being of an animal is hindered by the limitations of efficient communication between humans and animals. Instead of direct communication, a variety of parameters are employed to evaluate the well-being of an animal...

In many animal experiments scientists and local authorities define a body-weight reduction of 20% or more as severe suffering and thereby as a potential parameter for humane endpoint decisions. In this study, we evaluated distinct...

Ensuring that laboratory rodent pain is well managed underpins the ethical acceptability of working with these animals in research. Appropriate treatment of pain in laboratory rodents requires accurate assessments of the presence or absence of...

Pain and its alleviation are currently a highly studied issue in human health. Research on pain and response to analgesia has evolved to include the effects of genetics, heritability, and sex as important components in...

Nest building and burrowing are highly motivated natural behaviors in rodents, and changes in these behaviors can serve as welfare assessment tools. In this study, we investigated: 1) the limits of agreement between 2 observers...

Identifying early indicators of distress in mice is difficult using either periodic monitoring or current technology. Likewise, poor pain identification remains a barrier to providing appropriate pain relief in many mouse models. The Time to...

Driven by the longer lifespans of humans, particularly in Westernised societies, and the need to know more about ‘healthy ageing’, ageing mice are being used increasingly in scientific research. Many departments and institutes involved with...

Comparative severity assessment of animal models and experimental interventions is of utmost relevance for harm-benefit analysis during ethical evaluation, an animal welfare-based model prioritization as well as the validation of refinement measures. Unfortunately, there is...

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