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...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

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 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...

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...

In our facility, we use several hormone dependent tumour models with supplementation delivered via slow release subcutaneously implanted pellets, implanted via trochar. For example, breast tumours which rely on 17-β-Estradiol. Administration of E2 supplementation can...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Orogastric gavage, while a common method for delivering experimental substances in mice, has been shown to induce stress. To minimize the associated stress with this procedure, sham gavage prior to the start of experiment is...

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...

An essential aspect of genetically-engineered mice (GEM) is the ability to produce live animals after the appropriate injection procedure. Animals are produced by implantation of manipulated embryos into pseudopregnant females for gestation, parturition, and growth...

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...

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