Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every four months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

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, Setting, 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 that include earlier publications) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions that include earlier publications) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Subcutaneous injection is a vital technique in mouse-based biomedical research. Compared to other injections, the subcutaneous method poses fewer technical challenges and reduces acute toxicity risks due to slower absorption. Several suitable subcutaneous injection sites...

Environmental enrichment implemented in early life is able to induce long-term changes in gene expression, synaptic function and behavioural responses. In this study, we evaluated the adult behavioural effects of perinatal environment enrichment in male...

Empirical evidence suggests fishes meet the criteria for experiencing pain beyond a reasonable doubt and zebrafish are being increasingly used in studies of pain and nociception. Zebrafish are adopted across a wide range of experimental...

Cognitive bias is defined as the influence of emotions on cognitive processes. The concept of the cognitive judgement bias has its origins in human psychology but has been applied to animals over the past 2...

Mice are the most commonly used laboratory animal, yet there are limited studies which investigate the effects of repeated handling on their welfare and scientific outcomes. Furthermore, simple methods to evaluate distress in mice are...

Infrared thermography is a method that detects thermal radiation energy and can measure the body surface temperature of animals from a distance. While rectal temperature has traditionally been used to measure animals’ core temperature, thermal...

Environmental enrichment in zebrafish generally reduces anxiety-related behaviours, improves learning in maze trials and increases health and biological fitness. However, certain types of enrichment or certain conditions induce the opposite effects. Therefore, it is essential...

Rhythmic neural activity, which coordinates brain regions and neurons to achieve multiple brain functions, is impaired in many diseases. Despite the therapeutic potential of driving brain rhythms, methods to noninvasively target deep brain regions are...

Early-life adversity impacts on anxiety-related behaviors in adulthood. The effects of such adversity not only affect the animal itself, but can be passed on transgenerationally. Pervasive effects of experimentally-induced early-life stress (ELS) have been documented...

Facial expressions are an increasingly used tool to assess emotional experience and affective state during experimental procedures in animal models. Previous studies have successfully related specific facial features with different positive and negative valence situations...

Intrapleural injections can be used in mice to deliver therapeutic and diagnostic agents and to model human disease processes (for example, pleural fluid accumulation, malignant pleural disease, and lung cancers). In the context of establishing...

450 million years of evolution have given chondrichthyans (sharks, rays and allies) ample time to adapt perfectly to their respective everyday life challenges and cognitive abilities have played an important part in that process. The...

Flow is an altered state of feeling ‘in the zone’ when fully absorbed in a challenge and is associated with positive affective state (feelings). Despite almost five decades of research, Flow has not yet been...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 29 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and share experiences of...

Facial expressions are widely recognized as universal indicators of underlying internal states in most species of animals, thereby presenting as a non-invasive measure for assessing physical and mental conditions. Despite the advancement of artificial intelligence-assisted...

Animal welfare assessments have struggled to investigate the emotional states of animals while focusing solely on available empirical evidence. Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) may provide insights into an animal’s subjective experiences without compromising scientific rigor...

At our institution, the techniques that technicians use for health checks vary for mice housed in cages on individually ventilated caging (IVC) racks. If the mice cannot be adequately visualized, some technicians partially undock the...

Malocclusion is evident around the first 2-5 weeks of age for mice (NC3Rs, 2021). Therefore, it is hypothesised that a regular welfare check, the POST WEAN CHECK (PWC) at 5 weeks would: - significantly increase...

Vocalization may transmit information from the emitting animal, including information about his or her emotional state. This study aimed to compare the vocal and the behavioral responses of domestic cats during an aversive and a...

Animal welfare assessment relies on valid and practical indicators of affect. In mice, the most widely used research vertebrates, lying still with eyes open, inactive-but-awake (IBA) in the home cage, has potential to be one...

Studies in mice have shown that less aversive handling methods (e.g. tunnel or cup handling) can reduce behavioural measures of anxiety in comparison to picking mice up by their tail. Despite such evidence, tail handling...

Mice can be prone to skin lesions for various reasons. Green clay is a non-invvasive method to treat such skin lesions, and does not require veterinary approval or have properties that may interfere with an...

Debates around fishes’ ability to feel pain concern sentience: do reactions to tissue damage indicate evaluative consciousness (conscious affect), or mere nociception? Thanks to Braithwaite’s research leadership, and concerns that current practices could compromise welfare...

Boredom is an emotional state that occurs when an individual has nothing to do, is not interested in the surrounding, and feels dreary and in a monotony. While this condition is usually defined for humans...

In utero electroporation (IUE) requires high-level training in microinjection through the mouse uterine wall into the lateral ventricle of the mouse brain. Training for IUE is currently being performed in live mice as no artificial...