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. 
Small animal models are frequently used to improve our understanding of the molecular and biological signaling pathways underlying the beneficial effects of physical activity and exercise. Unfortunately, when running wheels are employed, mice and rats...
In conclusion, the investigations carried out up to now demonstrate that during the early stages fish show high sensitivity to many types of stressors involving an array of responses to overcome alterations that could affect...
Research animals are important for scientific advancement, and therefore, their long-term welfare needs to be monitored to not only minimize suffering, but to provide positive affective states and experiences. Currently, there is limited guidance in...
The recognition of novel objects is a common cognitive test for rodents, but current paradigms have limitations, such as low sensitivity, possible odor confounds and stress due to being performed outside of the homecage. We...
Appropriate end-points are integral to the refinement of laboratory animal experiments. Our recent experience has highlighted that ambiguity around end-points is hampering their adoption in experiments that cause severe suffering to fish. In toxicology, the...
During transportation, animals must have a water source available to prevent dehydration. Some shipping facilities use potatoes whereas, others use colloidal water gels that provide a uniform water source. The problem occurs when colloidal water...
In oncology research, while xenograft tumor models are easily visualized and humane endpoints can be clearly defined, metastatic tumor models are often based on more subjective clinical observations as endpoints. This study aimed at identifying...
Cancer-bearing mice are at risk of developing anxiety, pain, or malaise. These conditions may not only harm welfare but could also undermine data quality and translational validity in studies to develop therapeutic interventions. We aimed...
The radial arm maze (RAM) is a common behavioral test to assess spatial working and reference memory in mice. However, conventional RAM experiments require a substantial degree of manual handling and animals are usually subjected...
In many animal experiments scientists and local authorities define a body-weight reduction of 20% or more as severe suffering and thereby as a potential parameter for humane endpoint decisions. In this study, we evaluated distinct...
Despite several therapeutics showing promise in nonclinical studies, survival from ovarian cancer remains poor. New technologies are urgently needed to optimize the translation of nonclinical studies into clinical successes. While most nonclinical settings utilize subjective...
Driven by the longer lifespans of humans, particularly in Westernised societies, and the need to know more about ‘healthy ageing’, ageing mice are being used increasingly in scientific research. Many departments and institutes involved with...
If a laboratory animal survives an experiment without lasting compromised welfare, its future must be negotiated. Rehoming may be a consideration. This paper reports on research findings that provide an indication of the uptake of...
Reduction of animal suffering during in vivo experiments is usually ensured by continuously monitoring the health status using a score sheet and by applying humane endpoints. However, most studies do not evaluate the plausibility of...
This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...
Many in the lab animal field are familiar with shipping animals from vendor to investigator, from investigator to vendor, and from investigator to investigator. Sharing mouse models represents being good stewards of our animal resources...
Studies on the etiology of behavioral problems often involve interference in the animal's routine or reliance on owners' self-reports like surveys. Gathering data from videos posted on social media, a technique coined ‘video mining’, offers...
A primary goal in preclinical animal research is respectful and responsible care aimed toward minimizing stress and discomfort while enhancing collection of accurate and reproducible scientific data. Researchers use hands-on clinical observations and measurements as...
Well-defined, humane endpoints aid in monitoring animal health status during disease development. Body condition scoring (BCS) is a method for assessing health status in mouse studies where wasting and death are potential endpoints. Whether BCS...
Captive-reared fish often have poor survival in the wild and may fail to boost threatened populations. Enrichment during the nursery period can in some circumstances generate a broader behavioural repertoire than conventional hatchery production. Yet...
The Scientific Committee of the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association (Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Versuchstierkunde, SGV) reports on the Annual SGV Meeting held on 28 and 29 November 2017, at Technopark, Zürich, Switzerland. Feedback after the...
The types of changes in physical appearance and behavior that occur in elderly people similarly develop in elderly animals. Signs and symptoms that might cause concern in younger people or mice may be normal in...
The Humane Endpoints website (www.humane-endpoints.info) provides information and training modules on how to recognize humane endpoints in laboratory animals. This helps to prevent further distress in the animals by removing the animals from the experiment...
To examine these issues [transportation of laboratory animals], the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use held a workshop on September 3-4, 2014, in Washington, DC. More than 200 people participated in the...
Poultry transport systems are currently under investigation with a particular focus on design and dimensions of commercially available transport crates. The height of the crates currently used is debated and considered by some parties to...

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