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. 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Environmental factors play a significant role in well-being of laboratory animals. Regulations and guidelines recommend, if not require, that stressors such as bright lighting, smells, and noises are eliminated or reduced to maximize animal well-being...

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...

Studies typically involve groups of animals that are injected with placebo compounds. As there are studies that demonstrate that restraint and injection can affect behavior and corticosteroid levels in rodents, the basis of such placebo...

Recent studies have shown that the method choice for handling laboratory mice is important to animal welfare. In 2015, 60% of all animals used in Home Office procedures were laboratory mice. Given the large number...

Many laboratory mice used in research experience spontaneous seizures during cage changing and routine handling. The triggers are usually the abrupt sound and sudden motion of the cage. These seizures can range from mild to...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group holds a one-day meeting every autumn so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on rodent welfare issues and share experiences of the implementation of the 3Rs...

Environmental variables and husbandry practices can influence physiology and alter behavior in mice. Our study evaluated the effects of cage change on serum corticosterone levels and anxiety-like behaviors in C57BL/6 male mice. We examined the...

Routine laboratory procedures can be stressful for laboratory animals. We wanted to determine whether human handling of adult rabbits could induce a degree of habituation, reducing stress and facilitating research-related manipulation. To this end, adult...

We conclude that handling experimental animals more often than only at the time their cage is changes is beneficial.

COST Action B-24 established four working groups to research and discuss issues relevant to laboratory animal science. These included the housing of animals, environmental needs, refinement of procedures, genetically modified animals, and cost-benefit analysis. Based...

Handling experience (which includes routine maintenance) can have positive or negative effects on stress responses that influence experiments, depending on the animals' experience during handling. The most common method used to capture and handle laboratory...

Neonatal (early) handling (EH) and environmental enrichment (EE) of laboratory rodents have been the two most commonly used methods of providing supplementary environmental stimulation in order to study behavioral and neurobiological plasticity. A large body...

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