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. 
Aspects of the laboratory are aversive to mice, such as being housed under bright lights and at temperatures below their thermal comfort, causing stress and poor welfare. While murine thermal preferences are well understood, light...
Exposure of sentinel mice to dirty bedding is commonly used in health monitoring programs to screen colonies for clinical and subclinical disease. Despite the potential stressors present in dirty bedding, including but not limited to...
General anesthesia as used for rodent research can have adverse effects on physiologic mechanisms. Thermoregulation is often greatly inhibited, with resultant deleterious effects on cardiac and respiratory function. These potential effects can be mitigated by...
Gel solutions are simple to use, have a relative long shelf life and can be delivered with plastic cups or pouches. A common issue encountered by many institutions is that the gel becomes soiled quickly...
Human hair removal brands such as Nair™ are sometimes used in research to remove hair from mice before surgery, imaging, and other procedures.1,3 While the use of these depilatory creams in rodent research is relatively...
The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 28 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and share experiences of...
Ambient temperature is an important non-biotic environmental factor influencing immunological and oncological parameters in laboratory mice. It is under discussion which temperature is more appropriate and whether the commonly used room temperature in rodent facilities...
Rabbits are frequently used as surgical models in research. However, studies assessing the effects of various hair removal methods on wound healing and surgical site infection (SSI) in rabbits are sparse. Here we evaluated the...
Routine health monitoring is an integral part of managing SPF rodent colonies. In recent years, rack-level environmental sampling has been introduced as an adjunct method or replacement for exposure of sentinel rodents to soiled bedding...
Surgical procedures are commonly performed using mice but can have major effects on their core body temperature, including development of hypothermia. In this study, we evaluated active perioperative warming with and without surgical draping with...
Sociocultural changes in the human–animal relationship have led to increasing demands for animal welfare in biomedical research. The 3R concept is the basis for bringing this demand into practice: Replace animal experiments with alternatives where...
Laboratory rodents spend the entire day housed in standard cages that provide a restricted area for movements and might, therefore, limit physical activity. However, it has not been tested in immature rodents of ages ranging...
In the event of an emergency resulting in our automatic watering system being shut off, we identified the need to increase the number of rodent water bottles we have on hand. Once we realized we...
Mice respond to a cage change (CC) with altered activity, disrupted sleep and increased anxiety. A bi-weekly cage change is, therefore, preferred over a shorter CC interval and is currently the prevailing routine for Individually...
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...
Ammonia control is an important characteristic of rodent bedding materials. Among natural bedding materials, corncob bedding provides excellent ammonia control but contains estrogenic compounds and is ingested by mice. By comparison, processed cellulose bedding products...
Whether you are an animal care/husbandry technician, facility manager, or veterinarian, everyone bemoans a leaky drinking valve (often referred to as a lixit). Leaking drinking valves and flooded cages are a fairly common problem when...
Automated touchscreen techniques find increasing application for the assessment of cognitive function in rodents. However, hardly anything is known about the potential impact of touchscreen-based training and testing procedures on the animals under investigation. Addressing...
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 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...
Alcohols are commonly used in laboratory animal facilities to disinfect hands, equipment and laboratory environments. The effect on mice is unknown, so we observed male and female C57BL/6J and BALB/c mice during and after handling...
Much of the research done on aging, oxidative stress, anxiety, and cognitive and social behavior in rodents has focused on caloric restriction (CR). This often involves several days of single housing, which can cause numerous...
Little research has been conducted to examine the influence of various methods of providing nest materials—such as dispersing them, providing them as single units, or clustering them—on the behavior and welfare of group-housed mice. In...
General anesthesia induces many systemic effects, including thermoregulatory impairment and subsequent perioperative hypothermia. Due to the animals' small size, monitoring and maintaining body temperatures in laboratory rodents during anesthesia is important for successful surgical outcomes...

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