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

Current mouse handling methods during cage change procedures can cause stress and potentially compromise animal welfare. Our previous study of breeding C57BL/6J mice found modest increases in pup production and a significant reduction in preweaning...

Monitoring the activity of mice within their home cage is proving to be a powerful tool for revealing subtle and early-onset phenotypes in mouse models. Video-tracking, in particular, lends itself to automated machine-learning technologies that...

Mobile zoos are events in which non-domesticated (exotic) and domesticated species are transported to venues such as schools, hospitals, parties, and community centres, for the purposes of education, entertainment, or social and therapeutic assistance. We...

There is an ethical responsibility to provide all animals living in human care with optimal and positive well-being. As animals living in zoos and aquariums frequently interact with their human caregivers as part of their...

Electrical stunning is used to capture crocodiles to perform routine management procedures. It is essential from a welfare point that electrical stunning must cause unconsciousness in animals. However, there is no information of whether or...

Protecting animal welfare during preslaughter handling and slaughter is an important ethical concern with growing importance to consumers. However, animal welfare violations in abattoirs remain a serious problem, and the enforcement of relevant laws and...

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...

This paper explores the ethical imperative of rehoming all healthy animals of sentient species after experiments have finished or when they have become otherwise redundant. We take into account disparate perspectives in animal ethics and...

Practical mechanisms that can be implemented by animal facilities to enhance refinement include the use of non-aversive handling, non-invasive alternative procedures, and additional environmental enrichment. Thus, we sought to collate these techniques by developing a...

Oral vaccines are gaining attention for their ease of administration and ability to activate mucosal immune responses. However, preclinical studies using this route often require the use of gavage, which has limitations. In this comment...

The zebrafish (Danio rerio, Hamilton, 1822) is one of the most important fish model species in scientific research, with millions of fish housed in laboratory animal facilities around the world. During husbandry, it is necessary...

The zebrafish is an important biomedical research organism. In most research, zebrafish are removed from their home tank and subsequently their phenotype is measured. The method of handling the fish, however, may significantly affect a...

The goals of this study were to determine whether mice would adapt to a low-calorie flavored water gel as their sole source of hydration and whether the addition of acetaminophen, tramadol, meloxicam, or buprenorphine to...

Species-specific welfare indicators are important in promoting positive welfare for zoo animals. Reptiles are a notoriously understudied group in regards to behavior, welfare needs, and husbandry requirements. Using opportunistically obtained samples, we evaluated how blood...

Based on queries received during our 2021 LASA 3Rs’ presentation, we describe operational highlights and concerns that came up during the rollout of nonaversive handling as standard of care at our mouse breeding facility. We...

Precise oral dosing in rodents is usually achieved by intragastric gavage. If performed incorrectly due to technical difficulties, inexperience, or animal resistance, oral gavage may have animal welfare implications such as esophageal and gastric rupture...

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement of laboratory animal welfare, the North American 3Rs Collaborative (NA3RsC) brought together several experts to examine the evidence, impact, and practicality of alternative methods for picking up...

Non-aversive handling is a well-documented refinement measure for improving rodent welfare. Because maternal stress is related to reduced productivity, we hypothesized that welfare benefits associated with non-aversive handling would translate to higher production and fewer...

Modified Handling for Mice: Handling mice by gripping the base of the tail has been shown to negatively impact animal welfare by increasing anxiety and aversion to handling. We aimed to refi ne the dosing...

It is desirable to administer drugs by the least invasive route to (1) optimise welfare, (2) reduce the risk of injury to animal handlers and (3) minimise the impact of restraint and transient pain on...

Animal-borne tracking devices have generated a wealth of new knowledge, allowing us to better understand, manage and conserve species. Fitting such tracking devices requires that animals are captured and often chemically immobilized. Such procedures cause...

There is increasing evidence that, compared to non-aversive handling methods (i.e., tunnel and cupping), tail handling has a negative impact on mouse welfare. Despite this evidence, there are still research organisations that continue to use...

The use of head fixation in mice is increasingly common in research, its use having initially been restricted to the field of sensory neuroscience. Head restraint has often been combined with fluid control, rather than...

Oral administration of medication to experimental animals is a cause of significant stress. When coupled to animals who are already under strenuous circumstances due to the disease being modelled, there is a significant risk for...

Since they arrived at CU Boulder, we have learned a lot about the voles from the laboratory, other institutions, and our trial-and-error. We hope this information can be helpful to any considering adding voles to...