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. 

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...

Convergent evidence in literature shows that rapid disruption of maternal care and breastfeeding due to an early weaning protocol changes the development of several neurobehavioral patterns in rodents, including the circadian pattern of feeding. The...

Due to the lack of L-cones in the rodent retina, it is generally assumed that red light is invisible to rodents. Thus, red lights and red filter foils are widely used in rodent husbandry and...

Plasma lipid and glucose levels are important parameters for evaluating the onset and development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. In clinical and experimental studies of humans or mice, fasting is often required before testing plasma...

Environmental enrichment provides physiological and emotional benefits to laboratory rodents. Red tinted shelters are a common enrichment found in laboratories that provide rodents with a hiding space shielded from bright light. Red tinting alters 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...

The presentation I gave at IAT Congress 2019 was based on the changes and refinements the University of Dundee, Medical School Resource Unit (MSRU) has made over the past 18 months. These changes, described in...

This work aimed at evaluating the effects of housing system, pen floor type, and lactation management on rabbit doe and kit performance throughout a reproductive cycle, including categorization of aggressiveness and injuries. Forty multiparous pregnant...

Rabbits are known to be finicky about food and will reject it based upon several factors: odor, texture, form, or method of presentation. It can be an even greater challenge to get rabbits to eat...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...

Although the number of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) produced in Europe is important, they are under-represented in welfare research. Studies on the effects of housing conditions have focused on performance and mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis...

Diet board (DB) feeding aims to reduce the health hazards associated with ad libitum (AL) feeding. Rats have to gnaw wood to detach food from the DB, reducing their food consumption. We studied the welfare...

Laboratories and vivariums typically are maintained at ambient temperatures of 20 to 24 °C, leading to cold stress in mice. When mice are inactive and sleeping during the light phase, their zone of thermoneutrality associated...

Enrichment devices made of materials such as nylon and wood are common gnawing devices used in animal facilities. In most institutions, these devices are used for a limited period and then discarded. At Pfizer, enrichment...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 1 November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh and was attended by 70 delegates. Presentation topics included refinements in blood sampling rodents...

The poor record of basic-to-clinical translation in recent decades has led to speculation that preclinical research is “irreproducible”, and this irreproducibility in turn has largely been attributed to deficiencies in reporting and statistical practices. There...

This study sought to identify an optimal rodent bedding and cage-change interval to establish standard procedures for the IVC in our rodent vivarium. Disposable cages were prefilled with either corncob or α-cellulose bedding and were...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 21 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on rodent welfare issues and share experiences...

At Pfizer’s Pearl River site, rabbits are socially housed in pairs or triples in dog runs that have been converted into rabbit pens. The daily husbandry and maintenance of these pens, however, proved to be...

Dietary composition and presentation impacts on the behaviour of animals, and failure to provide a suitable diet can lead to reduced welfare through the development of poor health, the inability to express normal behaviours and...

Research has indicated that witnessing managemental procedures are stressful to laboratory rats. Yet there has been little investigation into whether the time of witnessing these procedures affects behaviour and welfare in these animals. Ninety-six rats...

The welfare of laboratory rats and mice is sought to be optimised through adjustment of a variety of environmental factors, including light intensity and photoperiodicity. However, the fact that rodents are able to perceive ultraviolet...

This work aims to verify the role of noise and music as anxiety modulators and their relationship with ovarian hormones. For this purpose, female Wistar rats were used and treated, forming different experimental groups, with...

The most common housing system for reproduction rabbits, individual cage housing on a wire floor, is increasingly scrutinized because of its potential detrimental impact on animal welfare. We compared three types of housing: (1) individual...

The number of flooded cages per cage change cycle (14 days) was tracked and it was identified that leaks and flooding often times occurred shortly after cage changing. To reduce the occurrence of flooded caging...

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