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. 

Poor reproducibility is considered a serious problem in laboratory animal research, with important scientific, economic, and ethical implications. One possible source of conflicting findings in laboratory animal research are environmental differences between animal facilities combined...

High and variable pre-weaning mortality is a persistent problem in laboratory mouse breeding. Assuming a modest 15% mortality rate across mouse strains, means that approximately 1 million more pups are produced yearly in the EU...

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...

Many in the lab animal field are familiar with shipping animals from vendor to investigator, from investigator to vendor, and from investigator to investigator. Sharing mouse models represents being good stewards of our animal resources...

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...

According to the Guide, cage change frequencies must be considered when cage density requirements are exceeded. We monitored ammonia, carbon dioxide, cage wetness, health status, and breeding parameters of trio and pair breeding cages containing...

Much like the menstrual cycle in humans, mice also have a cycle where the eggs ripen, ovulation takes place, the females come into heat and are receptive to mate with the male; this occurs over...

To attempt to reduce, refine and replace, we have employed a several new approaches to rederive mouse strains. By using in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with fresh or frozen sperm we can reduce the timeframe and...

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...

In March 2017 MRC Ares bought an ultrasound machine to assist in determining pregnancy in timed mating mice. Prior to this, visual checks or palpation would be used to confirm pregnancy. There were limitations with...

We searched a selection of the scientific literature to document evidence for, and explorations into reptile sentience. The intention of this review was to highlight; (1) to what extent reptile capability for emotions have been...

The point of the session was to have a collaborative discussion about environmental enrichment. The organisers wanted to know people’s experiences with enrichment, the barriers they have faced, if they have overcome any, and also...

Early death of mouse pups is a commonly known problem in breeding mice colonies, which is still often regarded as ‘normal’ or is even overlooked due to the counting procedures applied. As reduced breeding performance...

The practice of continually breeding lines to maintain them as a live resource either in-between studies or indefinitely “just in case” is common practice in many animal facilities. This process of “ticking over” colonies has...

Perinatal mortality is a widespread problem in laboratory mouse breeding and is often manifested by the loss of the entire litter within the first days of life. High mortality is an animal health and welfare...

The presentation I gave at IAT Congress 2019 was based on the changes and refinements the University of Dundee, Medical School Resource Unit (MSRU) has made over the past 18 months. These changes, described in...

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...

Synchronisation of oestrous cycle is a commonly used method to manage pregnancies either for breeding or for research purposes. Based on Whitten effect, the aim of our study was to introduce a new refined method...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...

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...

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...

Many oviparous animals construct well-designed nests to provide relatively favourable conditions for their eggs and hatchlings, but the direct evidence that nest structure can determine their reproductive success is insufficient. In the present study, we...

Here we describe a case of pseudopregnancy in a New Zealand White rabbit as a result of pair housing with an aggressive conspecific. Clinical signs included fur pulling and nest building that developed shortly after...

The incidence of obesity is on the rise in most western countries and represents major risks to health. Obesity causes complex metabolic dysfunctions and can be associated with a large number of secondary diseases. To...

Lactating mice in laboratory conditions are thought to be under considerable stress. Dams may manifest this stress through a decrease in milk yield and/or increase in infanticide. The purpose of this study was to examine...

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