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. 

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...

‘Crunching’ is the term often used to describe the abnormal behaviour of mice that habitually crunch their pelleted diet, causing substrate levels to rise as the crumbs settle on the cage floor ultimately burying the...

Injurious home-cage aggression (fighting) in mice affects both animal welfare and scientific validity. It is arguably the most common potentially preventable morbidity in mouse facilities. Existing literature on mouse aggression almost exclusively examines territorial aggression...

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...

Stereotypical behaviours (SBs) are abnormal, repetitive behaviours often observed in captivity. SBs are linked to impoverished captive conditions, and stereotypic individuals show a particular set of behaviours (e.g. bolder personality, greater activity) indicating proactive coping...

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...

We studied how space allowance affects measures of animal welfare in mice by systematically varying group size and cage type across three levels each in both males and females of two strains of mice (C57BL/6ByJ...

Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...

Cognitive processes are influenced by underlying affective states, and tests of cognitive bias have recently been developed to assess the valence of affective states in animals. These tests are based on the fact that individuals...

Environmental enrichment is used to enhance the well-being of captive animals and to prevent or reduce stereotypic and other abnormal behaviours. However, environmental enrichment does not always succeed in its intended purpose. We investigated whether...

Stereotypies are abnormal repetitive behaviour patterns that are highly prevalent in laboratory mice and are thought to reflect impaired welfare. Thus, they are associated with impaired behavioural inhibition and may also reflect negative affective states...

Covering species-typical behavior as well as abnormal/malfunctional behavior and stereotypes observed in mice, rats, hamsters and gerbils, this is an excellent resource for those looking to implement or enhance an existing behavioral husbandry and enrichment...

The study of laboratory animal behavior has increased steadily over the last decade, with expanding emphasis on a variety of commonly used species. In the United States, this trend was initially focused on species for...

Stereotypic behaviours (SBs) are linked with behavioural inflexibility and resemble symptoms of autism, suggesting that stereotypic animals could have autistic-like social impairments. SBs are also common in caged mice. We therefore hypothesised relationships between stereotypic...

Some laboratory mice gnaw food pellets without ingesting much of the gnawed material, resulting in the production of waste material. The fact that this food grinding behavior is not seen in all individuals of a...

Some laboratory mice gnaw food pellets without ingesting much of the gnawed material, resulting in the production of waste material called orts. The fact that this food grinding behavior is not seen in all individuals...

Stereotypic behaviors are repetitive invariant behaviors that are common in many captive species and potentially indicate compromised welfare and suitability as research subjects. Adult laboratory mice commonly perform stereotypic bar-gnawing, route-tracing, and back-flipping, although great...

In the majority of countries where there are legislative requirements pertaining to the use of animals in research, figures are quoted for minimum cage sizes or space allocation to be provided per animal. These figures...

Improving the home cages of laboratory mice by environmental enrichment has been widely used to reduce cage stereotypies and anxiety-related behaviour in behavioural tests. However, enrichment studies differ substantially in type, complexity and variation of...

In management of laboratory animals, wet bedding created by mice and abnormal fur in mice cause problems on housing, leading to negative effects both on the wellbeing of mice and on the validity of experimental...

Barbering (incessant grooming) is an abnormal behavior causing alopecia and commonly affects various strains of laboratory mice, including C57BL/6J. Barbering-induced alopecia is a potential symptom of brain impairment and can indicate a stressful environment. We...

Stereotyped motor behaviors are a common consequence of environmental restriction in a wide variety of species. Although environmental enrichment has been shown to substantially reduce stereotypy levels, the various components of enrichment have not been...

For captive animals, living in barren conditions leads to stereotypic behaviour that is hard to alleviate using environmental enrichment. This resistance to enrichment is often explained via mechanisms that decouple abnormal behaviour from current welfare...

Stereotypic behaviours are common in animals in impoverished housing, arising from two complementary processes: (1) thwarted attempts to perform motivated behaviours; (2) forebrain dysfunction impeding normal behavioural inhibition. When enriched animals are moved to impoverished...

The combination of mouse igloos and running wheels proved to be highly effective in reducing flipping, circling, and jumping.

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