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...

In semi-natural mixed-sex groups, rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) organize their social life by forming a hierarchy, which is characterized by linearity and stability. Compared to the natural environment, many factors are different in contemporary breeding systems...

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...

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...

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...

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...

When individuals exchange helpful acts reciprocally, increasing the benefit of the receiver can enhance its propensity to return a favour, as pay-offs are typically correlated in iterated interactions. Therefore, reciprocally cooperating animals should consider the...

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...

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...

Social play is associated with the experience of positive emotions in higher vertebrates and may be used as a measure of animal welfare. Altering motivation to play (e.g., through short-term social isolation) can temporarily affect...

This article describes the importance of providing laboratory animals with opportunities to engage in play, and provides a few practical ideas for how to do this.

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...

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...

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...

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...

Among the many analgesic agents available, buprenorphine appears to be the analgesic used most often in rabbits. Unfortunately, deleterious side effects of opioids, such as gastrointestinal stasis and anorexia, may discourage the use of these...

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...

I have some comments about the use of ketoprofen for analgesia in rats discussed in the recent JAALASarticle by Waite and colleagues.3 One of the conclusions reached by the authors was that, for postsurgical pain...

Standard laboratory cages prevent rats (Rattus norvegicus) from performing many behaviours that they perform in the wild, but little is known about how this may affect their welfare. The aims of this study were (i)...

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