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 RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 26 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues, and share experiences of...

Handling of laboratory mice is essential for experiments and husbandry, but handling can increase anxiety in mice, compromising their welfare and potentially reducing replicability between studies. The use of non-aversive handling (e.g., tunnel handling or...

Rabbits are popular companion animals. There are numerous welfare issues affecting the majority of the population, including the fact that most rabbits are fearful when handled. Pet Remedy ™ (Unex Designs) is an herbal product...

The primary focus of this project was to introduce the low stress handling of mice to Newcastle University and resulting in all researchers and technicians using this method. It aimed to bring a team together...

Recent studies at Liverpool University have indicated that handling mice by their tails during routine cleaning and procedures induced aversion and high anxiety in many commonly used strains. The evidence from the Liverpool study suggests...

Handling is a well-known source of stress to laboratory animals and can affect variability of results and even compromise animal welfare. The conventional tail handling in mice has been shown to induce aversion and anxiety-like...

Physical touch can help to decrease the effects of stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of tactile stimulation on the hormonal and behavioral responses of young adult rats submitted to...

Millions of mice are used every year for scientific research, representing the majority of scientific procedures conducted on animals. The standard method used to pick up laboratory mice for general husbandry and experimental procedures is...

Mice are the most commonly used laboratory animals for studying diseases, behaviour, and pharmacology. Behavioural experiment battery aids in evaluating abnormal behaviour in mice. During behavioural experiments, mice frequently experience human contact. However, the effects...

As Animal Technologists we are constantly looking at refining and enriching the environmental conditions of all our animals to give them both physical exercise and mental stimulation regardless of their size. However, animals can still...

Handling can stimulate stress and anxiety in laboratory animals that negatively impacts welfare and introduces a confounding factor in many areas of research. Picking up mice by the tail is a major source of handling...

Mouse handling during cage changing and health evaluation has traditionally been performed by using forceps. This method was adopted as a biosecurity measure but can adversely affect employee ergonomics and rodent behavior. In this study...

Mice are social animals hence group-housing of mice is preferred over individual housing. However, aggression in group-housed male mice under laboratory housing conditions is a well-known problem leading to serious health issues, including injury or...

Our rat training program teaches the standard method of handling and restraining that involves picking the rat up by the base of the tail and placing it on the wire mesh to be restrained. We...

Mice are the most widely used model species for drug discovery and scientific research. Consequently, it is important to refine laboratory procedures and practices to ensure high standards of welfare and scientific data quality. Recent...

Aquatic vertebrates and cephalopods, amphibians, reptiles, and birds offer unique safety and occupational health challenges for laboratory animal personnel. This paper discusses environmental, handling, and zoonotic concerns associated with these species.

Environmental factors play a significant role in well-being of laboratory animals. Regulations and guidelines recommend, if not require, that stressors such as bright lighting, smells, and noises are eliminated or reduced to maximize animal well-being...

Recent research in the industry identified that picking up mice in a tunnel or cupping them in the hand significantly reduces their stress levels. As Animal Tecgnologists, we could see advantages and disadvantages with this...

Studies typically involve groups of animals that are injected with placebo compounds. As there are studies that demonstrate that restraint and injection can affect behavior and corticosteroid levels in rodents, the basis of such placebo...

Recent studies have shown that the method choice for handling laboratory mice is important to animal welfare. In 2015, 60% of all animals used in Home Office procedures were laboratory mice. Given the large number...

Gentling can reduce the fear reactions of young laboratory rats toward people long term. We were able to show this outcome in a previous study that involved a successful but elaborate gentling program. In the...

Many laboratory mice used in research experience spontaneous seizures during cage changing and routine handling. The triggers are usually the abrupt sound and sudden motion of the cage. These seizures can range from mild to...

Social housing is recommended for laboratory rats because they are highly social mammals but research constraints or medical issues often demand individual housing and, when social housing is practiced, it typically involves housing with only...

Although loud noise and intense vibration are known to alter the behavior and phenotype of laboratory animals, little is known about the effects of nearby construction. We studied the effect of a nearby construction project...

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