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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The choice of laboratory cage bedding material is often based on both practical and husbandry issues, whereas behavioral outcomes rarely appear to be considered. It has been noted that a breeding success difference appears to...

While numerous published studies have evaluated the effect of housing density on the wellbeing of laboratory mice, little is known on the effect of breeding configuration. The eighth edition of the Guide for the Care...

Environmental enrichment is a strategy to improve animal welfare, providing brain plasticity with changes at cellular, molecular and behavioral levels. In order to test the long-term effects of enriched housing and the importance of testosterone...

Environmental enrichment is designed to improve the overall welfare of laboratory animals, including mice. Few studies have directly assessed the effects of different types of enrichment on mouse offspring survival and growth. The authors examined...

On Swiss rabbit breeding farms, group-housed does are usually kept singly for 12 days around parturition to avoid pseudogravidity, double litters and deleterious fighting for nests. After this isolation phase there is usually an integration...

Mice are housed at temperatures which increase their basal metabolic rates and impose high energy demands to maintain core temperatures. Thus, energy may be reallocated from other biologic processes to increase heat production. We hypothesized...

In laboratories, mice are housed at ambient temperatures between 20 to 24 °C, which is below their lower critical temperature of 30 °C, but comfortable for human workers. Thus, mice are thermally stressed, which can...

Historically, we have added approximately half a cup of shredded aspen bedding for nest making into each littering cage. This procedure was continued as we looked into additional environmental enrichment. There are many types of...

The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of environmental enrichment on the performance of C57BL/6 mice kept in conventional animal facilities (open cage; OC) and individually ventilated caging system (IVC). We analyzed...

Dynamic changes in housing and husbandry techniques based on the concept of 3Rs should be included as routine practice in breeding and experimental animal facilities tending to improve animal welfare. Immunosupressed mice are susceptible to...

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