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. 

Depression and anxiety are some of the most prevalent and debilitating mental health conditions in humans. They can present on their own or as co-morbidities with other disorders. Like humans, non-human primates (NHPs) can develop...

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...

IntroductionAnxiety and anxiety-influenced disorders are sexually dimorphic with women being disproportionately affected compared to men. Given the increased prevalence in women and the documented differences in anxiety and trauma behavior between male and female rats...

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...

Across captive settings, nonhuman primates may develop an array of abnormal behaviors including stereotypic and self-injurious behavior. Abnormal behavior can indicate a state of poor welfare, since it is often associated with a suboptimal environment...

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...

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...

Self-directed behaviours (SDBs) are widely used as markers of emotional arousal in primates, and are commonly linked to negative arousal, or are used as indicators of stress or poor welfare. However, recent studies suggest that...

The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is a relatively rare mammal in zoological collections with only nine zoos in the United Kingdom holding colonies of varying sizes at the time of study. This study aims...

Abnormal behaviours are often used as a welfare indicator in zoo-housed great apes. While previous studies report on the occurrence of abnormal behaviours in zoo-housed chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), there is currently a lack of knowledge...

The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...

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...

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...

Fur-chewing is a common problem in chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera). It may affect the welfare of animals due to heat loss, thereby possibly impacting food and water intake to maintain body temperature. In this context, infrared...

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...

Stereotypies (a subset of Abnormal Repetitive Behaviour [ARB]) are characterised by an unchanging pattern of behaviour and in captive animals can be associated with poor welfare. Although well known in certain taxa, little is known...

The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...

Hair plucking is observed in many captive primate species and is often characterized as an abnormal behavior. However, this behavior may be both self-directed and social and may have different etiologies. Early research in captive...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

The 2011 European Union Zoo Inquiry presented evidence that most zoos fail to achieve adequate levels of nonhuman animal welfare. Appropriate environmental enrichment (EE) can play a role in the promotion of welfare. However, financial...

The field of zoo animal welfare science has developed significantly over recent years. However despite this progress in terms of scientific research, globally, zoo animals still face many welfare challenges. Recently, animal welfare frameworks such...

When primates exhibit hair loss and are observed to engage in self or social hair plucking (a rapid jerking away of the hair shaft and follicle by the hand or mouth, often accompanied by inspection...

Previous research has shown that rats reared in simple/impoverished environments demonstrate greater repetitive responding for sensory reinforcers (e.g., light onset). Moreover, the brains of these rats are abnormally developed, compared to brains of rats reared...

Abnormal behavior occurs in a number of captive nonhuman primate species and is often used as an indicator of welfare. However, reported levels of abnormal behavior often vary across species, making general welfare judgments difficult...