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. 

Pet rabbit welfare is a hidden crisis: Inappropriately housed, fed, and not routinely provided healthcare—rabbits can often suffer painful conditions and shortened lifespans. This study provides novel understanding of owners’ perceptions of rabbits’ mental capabilities...

Measuring animal stress is fundamentally important for assessing animal emotional state and welfare. Conventional methods of quantifying stress (cortisol levels, heart rate/heart rate variability) require specialist equipment and are not instantly available. Spontaneous blink rate...

Intubation in rabbits can be difficult due to their unique anatomical features. Large incisors, long narrow oral cavities, thick tongues, and limited mobility of the temporomandibular joint make laryngeal visualization difficult. It is the hope...

“Pheromonal therapy” has been promoted as a promising alternative therapy to improve the human-animal relationship and to reduce behavioral reactions to stressful stimuli. This placebo-controlled double blind study evaluated the use of a synthetic equine...

Vascular catheterization is becoming a popular technique in laboratory rodents, facilitating repetitive blood sampling and infusion in individual animals. In mice, catheterization is complicated by their small body size, which may increase the risk of...

Animal welfare assessment has traditionally relied on measures of physical health and changes in behavior and physiology related to negative emotional states such as pain and stress. However, it is now widely accepted that good...

Rabbits provide a unique challenge for routine endotracheal intubation in clinical practice because of various distinctive anatomic and physiologic features. Many previously proposed methods for endotracheal intubation in rabbits are limited by several factors, including...

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...

Attribution of emotions to horses, as well as understanding how environmental factors may influence such states, may influence owners' and caretakers' attitudes toward horse welfare. This, in turn, may influence how they manage and treat...

In the past, there was a strong focus on avoiding or reducing negative animal welfare in animal experimentation. Recently, the importance of promoting positive animal welfare in laboratory animals has been highlighted. To ensure and...

Care given to animals, such as grooming for horses, can be a source of well-being when carried out correctly. However, it can cause discomfort when badly perceived and lead to potentially dangerous reactions. This study...

A key welfare problem for horses is that people commonly fail to recognise, and consequently neglect to resolve, equine behavioural signs of distress, worsening the welfare of the horse and potentially putting the safety of...

Endotracheal tube (ETT) management is an essential technique in handling mice with mechanical ventilators. Malposition into bronchi causes not only lethal complications for them but also less efficient mechanical ventilation. However, in general, it is...

Human body odors contain chemosignals that make species-specific communication possible. Interspecies communication studies were conducted on dogs and horses subjected to human chemosignals produced in happiness and fear emotional states. Dogs showed behaviors consistent with...

Equine assisted interventions (EAIs) include all therapeutic interventions aimed at improving human wellbeing through the involvement of horses. Due to the prominent emotional involvement traditionally characterizing their relation with humans, horses developed sophisticated communicative skills...

Transmission of fear and attenuation of fear within groups of farm animals remain relatively unexplored, despite the importance for human and animal safety. This paper reports the results of two separate experiments, aiming to explore...

A host of scholarly work has characterized the positive effects of exercise and environmental enrichment on behaviour and cognition in animal studies. The purpose of this study was to investigate the uptake and longitudinal impact...

This feature describes creative ways in which technology can be used to study animals within their home cages, eliminating the need to handle, restrain, and separate them from cage mates. One example includes voluntary brain...

Ample studies have shown that housing can affect the health, welfare and behavior of mice and therefore, the outcomes of certain experiments. The aim of this study was to investigate if three widely used housing...

Endotracheal intubation of laboratory animals is a common procedure shared by several research fields for different purposes, such as mechanical ventilation of anaesthetized animals, instillation of cytotoxic nanoparticles, infectious agents or tumour cells for induction...

Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models are created using fragments of human tumors subcutaneously implanted into immunodeficient mice. Solid tumor engraftment of mice is commonly performed with a 10-13 gauge trocar needle under general anesthesia. In this...

The beneficial effects of environment and social support during disease recovery in humans are widely accepted. Because laboratory mice are social animals and are highly motivated to interact with each other and with their environment...

The detection and assessment of pain in animals is crucial to improving their welfare in a variety of contexts in which humans are ethically or legally bound to do so. Thus clear standards to judge...

Specific positioning for different imaging modalities is essential in our small animal imaging core. While we have different animal holders designed to position the animal inside the MRI, additional securing of the animal to the...

Anaesthesia and analgesia are used frequently in laboratory routine to ensure animal welfare and good scientific outcomes in experiments that may elicit pain or require immobilisation of the animal. However, there is concern regarding the...

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