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. 

At the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC), we routinely teach novice research personnel how to appropriately handle, restrain, and perform basic experimental techniques on rats. Barriers to teaching include fear of animal bites...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Germ-free rats are fairly uncommon, relative to germ-free mice, and restraining these animals safely and effectively for compound administration and blood collection can be challenging. There are many commercially available varieties of restraint devices, but...

In animal models, blood pressure measurement methods can be either invasive (direct) or non-invasive (indirect). The non-invasive alternative involves applying a tail-cuff for blood pressure measurement. Current standardized restraint methods involve confining the laboratory animal...

Gentling can reduce the fear reactions of young laboratory rats toward people long term. We were able to show this outcome in a previous study that involved a successful but elaborate gentling program. In the...

Restraint in animals is known to cause stress but is used during almost all scientific procedures in rodents, representing a major welfare and scientific issue. Administration of substances, a key part of most scientific procedures...

Specific positioning for different imaging modalities is essential in our small animal imaging core. While we have different animal holders designed to position the animal inside the MRI, additional securing of the animal to the...

Social housing is recommended for laboratory rats because they are highly social mammals but research constraints or medical issues often demand individual housing and, when social housing is practiced, it typically involves housing with only...

Rabbit hypnosis or “trancing” was a common restraint technique used for minor procedures such as: nail clipping, tooth trimming, eye exams, and subcutaneous injections. In years past the technique was originally used on pet rabbits...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group holds a one-day meeting every autumn so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on rodent welfare issues and share experiences of the implementation of the 3Rs...

Although loud noise and intense vibration are known to alter the behavior and phenotype of laboratory animals, little is known about the effects of nearby construction. We studied the effect of a nearby construction project...

Routine laboratory procedures can be stressful for laboratory animals. We wanted to determine whether human handling of adult rabbits could induce a degree of habituation, reducing stress and facilitating research-related manipulation. To this end, adult...

Rats can be playfully handled (tickled) in a manner that mimics playful social contact with conspecifics. We hypothesized that the timing of tickling in relation to an intraperitoneal injection would affect the efficacy of tickling...

COST Action B-24 established four working groups to research and discuss issues relevant to laboratory animal science. These included the housing of animals, environmental needs, refinement of procedures, genetically modified animals, and cost-benefit analysis. Based...

We conclude that handling experimental animals more often than only at the time their cage is changes is beneficial.

The question was asked: "Rodents are often restrained for data collection procedures, such as blood collection and injection, by coaxing them into tubes, for example syringe cylinders or perspex tubes. What can be done to...

The objective of this study was to test the hypotheses that female rats are stressed by being in the same room as animals subjected to common husbandry and experimental procedures and that the level of...

Neonatal (early) handling (EH) and environmental enrichment (EE) of laboratory rodents have been the two most commonly used methods of providing supplementary environmental stimulation in order to study behavioral and neurobiological plasticity. A large body...

Open-field behaviour of individually gentled and nonhandled adult male Wistar rats was studied in a mildly novel test situation. The gentled rats were more active and showed fewer signs of fear on the first trial...

The neuroendocrine and neurochemical responses of rats to 5 min of cold exposure versus 5 min of forced immobilization were determined and compared. We found that plasma hormones and brain neurochemical systems responded differently to...

Serum corticosterone levels increased significantly within four minutes, reached a peak at 15 minutes and were back to control values 60 minutes after cage displacement. Prolactin, TSH, LH and FSH serum concentrations were also affected...

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