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. 

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...

Physical touch can help to decrease the effects of stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of tactile stimulation on the hormonal and behavioral responses of young adult rats submitted to...

Domestic animals often seek and enjoy interacting with humans. Positive human–animal relationships can elicit positive emotions and other positive welfare outcomes. Nevertheless, our understanding of the underlying processes that govern the positive perception of humans...

Rabbits are popular companion animals. There are numerous welfare issues affecting the majority of the population, including the fact that most rabbits are fearful when handled. Pet Remedy ™ (Unex Designs) is an herbal product...

Providing postoperative analgesia to rats by oral administration, compared with injections, reduces stress from frequent handling and is technically easier for investigators. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether bacon-flavored tablets containing gabapentin...

Pet rabbit welfare is a hidden crisis: Inappropriately housed, fed, and not routinely provided healthcare—rabbits can often suffer painful conditions and shortened lifespans. This study provides novel understanding of owners’ perceptions of rabbits’ mental capabilities...

The use of effective regimens for mitigating pain remain underutilized in research rodents despite the general acceptance of both the ethical imperative and regulatory requirements intended to maximize animal welfare. Factors contributing to this gap...

Despite evidence for rat tickling’s animal welfare benefits, the technique is rarely implemented in part because of a lack of training. This study’s purpose was to determine the efficacy of online-only or online + hands-on...

In this study, the effect of four anaesthetic protocols that included the combination of xylazine (X) and ketamine (K) with acepromazine (A) and opioids (methadone (Me), morphine (Mo) or tramadol (T)) was evaluated in laboratory...

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...

Gentle tactile stimuli have been shown to play an important role in the establishment and maintenance of affiliative social interactions. Oxytocin has also been shown to have similar actions. We investigated the effects of gentle...

Calvarial bone surgery on rabbits is frequently performed. This report aims to document a simple and practical anaesthetic and perioperative management for this procedure. Fourteen male New Zealand white rabbits were included in the study...

This article investigates the barriers to implementing higher caging in animal research establishments in the UK. The use of animals in research and testing in the UK is regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act...

Our rat training program teaches the standard method of handling and restraining that involves picking the rat up by the base of the tail and placing it on the wire mesh to be restrained. We...

Laboratory rat welfare is critically influenced by laboratory animal personnel through their implementation, or lack of implementation, of various enrichment techniques. One such promising technique is heterospecific play, or “rat tickling”, which mimics aspects of...

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...

Managing postoperative pain in rodents is an important part of any animal care and use program, and identifying an optimal analgesic plan for a surgical procedure is critical to providing for animal welfare. Opioids and...

Laboratory rats may experience stress during handling which can reduce their welfare. Rat tickling, a handling technique that mimics aspects of rat rough-and-tumble play, has been found to induce positive affect based on production of...

Rats find initial interactions with humans frightening, which can lead to negative affect, and poor welfare. A handling technique called “tickling”, which mimics rat rough-and-tumble play, can be used to reduce these negative effects. When...

This review highlights selected effects of untreated pain and of widely used analgesics such as opioids, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and antipyretics, to illustrate the relevance of carefully planned, appropriate and controlled analgesia for greater reproducibility...

This study was designed to determine whether perineural injections of local anaesthetics decreases intraoperative nociception and improves postoperative analgesia in New Zealand White rabbits undergoing experimental stifle arthrotomy. All animals were anaesthetized using isoflurane and...

Researchers performing experiments on animals should always strive towards the refinement of experiments, minimization of stress and provision of better animal welfare. An adequate analgesic strategy is important to improve post-operative recovery and welfare in...

The intrathecal (IT) route of administration represents a means to reduce the dose of morphine administered for analgesia, potentially minimizing interactions between opioid effects and experimental outcomes. Perceived technical difficulty, and previously described invasive methods...

The local anesthetic bupivacaine is valuable for perioperative analgesia, but its use in the postoperative period is limited by its short duration of action. Here, we evaluated the application of a slow-release liposomal formulation of...

Introduction: The induction of neuropathic pain-like behaviors in rodents often requires surgical intervention. This engages acute nociceptive signaling events that contribute to pain and stress post-operatively that from a welfare perspective demands peri-operative analgesic treatment...

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