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. 
Prevention of pain in rabbits is a priority for both welfare and validity of scientific data. We aimed to determine if the rabbit grimace scale (RbtGS) could be used as a viable, rapid assessment tool...
The teleost zebrafish (Danio rerio), an established model for human skeletal diseases, is reared under controlled conditions with defined parameters for temperature and photoperiod. Studies aimed at defining the proper rearing density have been performed...
Appropriate end-points are integral to the refinement of laboratory animal experiments. Our recent experience has highlighted that ambiguity around end-points is hampering their adoption in experiments that cause severe suffering to fish. In toxicology, the...
The zebrafish is becoming an increasingly popular research animal around the world. Its welfare is affected by an array of environmental factors, such as food access and water quality. Holding density is an important welfare...
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...
Fish models are essential for research in many biological and medical disciplines. With a typical lifespan of only 6 months, the turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) was recently established as a time- and cost-efficient model to...
Pain management in rabbits can be difficult because they are adept at hiding pain and can be stressed by handling and restraint for injection. The use of opioid analgesics with prolonged durations of activity could...
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...
Fish welfare is still a relatively new field. As such, regulations and protocols to ensure fish welfare are currently limited and vary considerably in different jurisdictions. This is in part because of the ongoing controversy...
In this review, we focus primarily on the refinement of common methods used in fish research based on emerging knowledge with the aim of improving the welfare of fish used in scientific studies. We consider...
The number of fish used in research has increased in the last decades. Anaesthesia is required when fish must be held immobile and it is crucial to promote fish welfare, because these vertebrates can show...
In the expanding salmon industry, many farmers use production methods that could result in poor welfare of the fish at various points of their lifecycle. We have reviewed methods used for producing salmon for food...
Analgesics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use in fish is still limited. Some recommendations on the use of analgesics in fish are currently in the literature; however, information...
Farmed fish are typically reared at densities much higher than those observed in the wild, but to what extent crowding results in abnormal behaviours that can impact welfare and stress coping styles is subject to...
Guinea pigs are a commonly used model for tuberculosis vaccine research. Loss of body weight is the most frequently described humane endpoint for animals used in these studies. During a chronic study, we noted labored...
Myxoma virus is a member of Leporipoxviridae whose tropism is tightly restricted to lagomorphs. In susceptible Oryctolagus rabbits, the virus causes a highly lethal disease known as myxomatosis, which begins as a localized infection but...
Research has recently demonstrated that larval zebrafish show similar molecular responses to nociception to those of adults. Our study explored whether unprotected larval zebrafish exhibited altered behaviour after exposure to noxious chemicals and screened a...
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...
In guinea pigs, studies addressing the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetic profiles of different sustained-release buprenorphine (SRB) formulations are still in their infancy. Here we assessed the pharmacokinetic profiles of 3 SRB dosages (SR-LAB, ZooPharm; SRBLow...
Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) are a frequently used species in research, often involving potentially painful procedures. Therefore, evidence-based recommendations regarding analgesia are critically needed to optimize their wellbeing. Our laboratory examined the efficacy of carprofen...
Local anesthetics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use is relatively limited in fish, amphibians and reptiles. These animals frequently undergo potentially painful surgical procedures and therefore could possibly...
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...
The average survival rate for our Zebrafish (ZF) embryos was 65%. When it was time to create our next generation of Wild Type (WT) (used for embryo production), we decided to run a trial focussing...
Fish are known to respond to a wide range of irritant chemicals, displaying clear behavioural changes after exposure to potentially noxious stimuli. Recent evidence shows that these agents can have an impact on larval forms...
Recent studies have demonstrated that fish exhibit behavioural responses to noxious stimuli, including mechanical, chemical or thermal stimulation. In many cases, these responses are characterised by a reduction in the locomotor activity, which in turn...

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