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. 

Measures of individual behavioural differences (personality) are highly valuable in many areas of ethology, particularly studies of animal emotion and welfare. However, there are limitations to current behavioural tests of personality. Caregiver questionnaires may provide...

Voluntary oral drug administration using sweet substances promotes rodents’ therapeutic compliance while reducing stress induced by forced drug administration. We aimed to test whether rats would willingly eat strawberry jam or condensed milk from a...

This volume reviews the broad topic of welfare in nonhuman primates under human care. Chapters detail the history of primates in captivity, ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of nonhuman primates as entertainment or...

A non-invasive method of drug delivery, intranasal atomization, has shown positive results in human medicine and in some animal species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of intranasal atomization, compared to...

Drug safety and efficacy studies frequently use oral gavage, but repetitive usage may cause problems. Administration through voluntary ingestion represents an opportunity for refinement. We aimed to develop a protocol for voluntary ingestion of gelatin-based...

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...

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...

Information on fish preference for environmental conditions can be a useful tool to offer them what they want, an important requirement for welfare purposes. Giving that such an approach deals with psychological states of the...

Preclinical drug studies routinely administer experimental compounds to animal models with the goal of minimizing potential adverse events from the procedure. In this study, we assessed the ability to train adult male Long Evans rats...

Chronic stress is a major source of welfare problems in many captive populations, including fishes. While we have long known that chronic stress effects arise from maladaptive expression of acute stress response pathways, predicting where...

Welfare is an individual attribute. In general, providing captive nonhuman animals with conditions conducive to good welfare is an idea more easily applied when dealing with few individuals. However, this becomes much harder—if not impossible—under...

The RSPCA/UFAW rodent and rabbit welfare group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 27 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and share...

Oro-gastric gavage is used to accurately administer nutritional substances or drugs to animals. However, it induces stress and has a substantial risk of mishap. Incorporation into edible gels is difficult for lipid-based preparations. We report...

Animal personality, the consistent between-individual differences in e.g., risk-taking, exploration, antipredator or mating behaviours, has major impacts on the fitness of individuals in many species. Understanding how to quantify animal personality should help us predicting...

Cattle are subjected to routine procedures that require restraint and close contact to humans, which are both potentially aversive to the animal. Positive reinforcement training techniques may affect how animals perceive and respond to these...

Personality is often defined as the behaviour of individual animals that is consistent across contexts and over time. Personality traits may become unstable during stages of ontogeny from infancy to adulthood, especially during major periods...

The Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) at the Royal Veterinary College in London suggested providing post-operative pain relief (carprofen) to rats in raspberry flavoured jelly to avoid the use of s.c. injections. This article provides a...

This poster describes how the Animal Technologists at Envigo adapted their current practices and procedures for a new species at their laboratory: the cotton rat. The paper describes cotton rat biology and behaviour; housing; environmental...

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...

The assessment of personality in farm animals and its relation to other behavioural and physiological traits is of growing scientific and practical interest. Therefore, the aims of the present study were first to assess the...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...

Cattle mother-offspring contact calls encode individual-identity information; however, it is unknown whether cattle are able to maintain individuality when vocalising to familiar conspecifics over other positively and negatively valenced farming contexts. Accordingly, we recorded 333...

Personality, defined as consistent between-individual variation in clusters of behavioral traits independent of factors such as age or sex, emerges in most animal species tested so far. The number of invertebrate species discovered to have...

There are varying methods used for animal restraint and angle of injection. It remains unclear whether one method is more accurate than others. The primary objectives were to examine whether inverted restraint of rats resulted...

Curcumin, a polyphenol derived from turmeric, has a wide variety of therapeutic benefits including antiinflammatory, antioxidative, and chemopreventative effects. Oral gavage is widely performed to administer curcumin in laboratory rodents in several experimental models. Although...