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. 

Ensuring that laboratory rodent pain is well managed underpins the ethical acceptability of working with these animals in research. Appropriate treatment of pain in laboratory rodents requires accurate assessments of the presence or absence of...

Rabbits are the third species in terms of number of animals reared for meat production in the world. However, in comparison to other species, very few studies have focused on their welfare. The aim of...

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...

The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate whether behavioral or locomotor tests (Open Field (OF), rotarod (RR), and CatWalk (CW)) can help assess the severity of laparotomy in rats. The new EU Directive...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 26 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues, and share experiences of...

Comparative severity assessment of animal models and experimental interventions is of utmost relevance for harm-benefit analysis during ethical evaluation, an animal welfare-based model prioritization as well as the validation of refinement measures. Unfortunately, there is...

Intubation in rabbits can be difficult due to their unique anatomical features. Large incisors, long narrow oral cavities, thick tongues, and limited mobility of the temporomandibular joint make laryngeal visualization difficult. It is the hope...

Activity budget comparisons between groups or individuals in the wild and those in captivity are commonly used to determine the range of wild-type behaviors that nonhuman animals in captivity perform. These comparisons are conducted with...

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...

Rabbits provide a unique challenge for routine endotracheal intubation in clinical practice because of various distinctive anatomic and physiologic features. Many previously proposed methods for endotracheal intubation in rabbits are limited by several factors, including...

There is a growing interest in the use of voluntarily displayed ongoing behaviours in laboratory animals to assess the pain experience. In rats, two behavioural pain scales, the Rat Grimace Scale (RGS, a facial expression...

Skin closure clips are widely used within the University of Edinburgh to close incision sites for various procedures in both rats and mice. In rats the skin closure clips very often come out as a...

Minimization and alleviation of stress are generally viewed as desirable aspects of laboratory animal management and use. However, achieving that goal requires an unambiguous and valid measure of stress. Glucocorticoid concentrations are commonly used as...

The genetic and biological similarity between non-human primates and humans has ensured the continued use of primates in biomedical research where other species cannot be used. Health-monitoring programmes for non-human primates provide an approach to...

In the past, there was a strong focus on avoiding or reducing negative animal welfare in animal experimentation. Recently, the importance of promoting positive animal welfare in laboratory animals has been highlighted. To ensure and...

The rat grimace scale (RGS) is a measure of spontaneous pain that evaluates pain response. The ability to characterize pain through a non-invasive method has considerable utility for numerous animal models of disease, including mucositis...

Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...

Facial thermography has enabled researchers to noninvasively and continuously measure the changes of a range of emotional states in humans. The present work used this novel technology to study the effect of positive and negative...

This feature describes creative ways in which technology can be used to study animals within their home cages, eliminating the need to handle, restrain, and separate them from cage mates. One example includes voluntary brain...

For humans and for non-human primates heart rate is a reliable indicator of an individual’s current physiological state, with applications ranging from health checks to experimental studies of cognitive and emotional state. In humans, changes...

Scientific methods for assessing animal affect, especially affective valence (positivity or negativity), allow us to evaluate animal welfare and the effectiveness of 3Rs Refinements designed to improve wellbeing. Judgement bias tasks measure valence; however, task-training...

Since rats lack a gall bladder, they are an ideal model for investigating continuous biliary excretion and biotransformation. The design and implementation of a modified tail cuff and cannula system introduced at Covance permits the...

Group housing is considered to be important for rats, which are highly sociable animals. Single housing may impact behaviour and levels of circulating stress hormones. Rats are typically used in the toxicological evaluation of insulin...

Bile duct cannulation (BDC) studies are usually carried out in the rat to support the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion profiling of novel agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. The different aspects of these studies (e.g. surgical preparation...

Judgement bias tests of animal affect and hence welfare assume that the animal’s responses to ambiguous stimuli, which may herald positive or negative outcomes, are under instrumental control and reflect ‘optimism’ or ‘pessimism’ about what...

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