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. 

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 26 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues, and share experiences of...

Background: There has been increased concern about the suitability of CO2 as a method for euthanasia of laboratory mice and rats, including the potential discomfort, pain or distress that animals may experience prior to loss...

Rabbits are popular companion animals. There are numerous welfare issues affecting the majority of the population, including the fact that most rabbits are fearful when handled. Pet Remedy ™ (Unex Designs) is an herbal product...

The aim of the study was to assess the effect of two different stunning methods on the level of blood stress indicators (cortisol, insulin, glucose) and rabbit meat quality. The experiment was conducted on crossbreds...

Intraperitoneal (IP) injection of sodium pentobarbital (PB) is an accepted method of euthanasia for mice. However, this method has important drawbacks, including the potential for pain or misinjection. The objective of this prospective, randomized, blinded...

Recent studies at Liverpool University have indicated that handling mice by their tails during routine cleaning and procedures induced aversion and high anxiety in many commonly used strains. The evidence from the Liverpool study suggests...

Handling is a well-known source of stress to laboratory animals and can affect variability of results and even compromise animal welfare. The conventional tail handling in mice has been shown to induce aversion and anxiety-like...

Euthanasia is one of the most commonly performed procedures in biomedical research, involving tens of millions of animals in North America and Europe every year. The use of sodium pentobarbital, injected intraperitoneally, for killing rodents...

Mice are the most commonly used laboratory animals for studying diseases, behaviour, and pharmacology. Behavioural experiment battery aids in evaluating abnormal behaviour in mice. During behavioural experiments, mice frequently experience human contact. However, the effects...

Millions of mice are used every year for scientific research, representing the majority of scientific procedures conducted on animals. The standard method used to pick up laboratory mice for general husbandry and experimental procedures is...

The optimal choice of euthanasia method for laboratory rodents depends on a number of factors, including the scientific goals of the study, the need to minimize animal pain and/or distress, applicable guidelines and laws, the...

Handling of laboratory mice is essential for experiments and husbandry, but handling can increase anxiety in mice, compromising their welfare and potentially reducing replicability between studies. The use of non-aversive handling (e.g., tunnel handling or...

The use of carbon dioxide (CO2) for stunning and killing animals is considered to compromise welfare due to air hunger, anxiety, fear, and pain. Despite decades of research, no alternatives have so far been found...

Handling can stimulate stress and anxiety in laboratory animals that negatively impacts welfare and introduces a confounding factor in many areas of research. Picking up mice by the tail is a major source of handling...

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is commonly used to kill rodents. However, a large body of research has now established that CO2 is aversive to them. A multidisciplinary symposium organized by the Swiss Federal Food Safety and...

The impact of behavioural disorders on animal welfare in modern animal husbandry has been much debated. While other abnormal behaviours have been explored at length, there are a paucity of studies on tail-biting in rabbits...

Mice are social animals hence group-housing of mice is preferred over individual housing. However, aggression in group-housed male mice under laboratory housing conditions is a well-known problem leading to serious health issues, including injury or...

Mouse handling during cage changing and health evaluation has traditionally been performed by using forceps. This method was adopted as a biosecurity measure but can adversely affect employee ergonomics and rodent behavior. In this study...

As Animal Technologists we are constantly looking at refining and enriching the environmental conditions of all our animals to give them both physical exercise and mental stimulation regardless of their size. However, animals can still...

The 2013 AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals recommends a chamber volume displacement rate of 10% to 30% per minute (v/min) when euthanizing small laboratory rodents with CO2. Group euthanasia of mice is a...

The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals considers injection of barbiturates to be an acceptable method of euthanasia in rodents but states there is a potential for pain when administered intraperitoneally. This study examined...

Recent research in the industry identified that picking up mice in a tunnel or cupping them in the hand significantly reduces their stress levels. As Animal Tecgnologists, we could see advantages and disadvantages with this...

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...

Mice are the most widely used model species for drug discovery and scientific research. Consequently, it is important to refine laboratory procedures and practices to ensure high standards of welfare and scientific data quality. Recent...

The 2013 edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals recommends a 10% to 30% volume displacement rate (VDR) per minute for CO2 euthanasia of rodents. Here we sought to evaluate behavior and...

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