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. 

Rabbits are the third species in terms of number of animals reared for meat production in the world. However, in comparison to other species, very few studies have focused on their welfare. The aim of...

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...

This open access book is a printed edition of the Special Issue on Welfare of Cultured and Experimental Fishes that was published in the journal Fishes. The PDF is free for download.

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...

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...

Laboratory animals need to be monitored to check the status of their health and welfare. Routine checks of laboratory fish are limited to visual observations of physical appearance and behaviour, but for species held in...

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...

Adopting a social science perspective and qualitative methodology on the problem of laboratory fish welfare, this paper examines some underlying social factors and drivers that influence thinking, priorities and implementation of fish welfare initiatives and...

Fish welfare is an essential issue that needs to be tackled by the aquaculture industry. In order to address it, studies have been limited to a small number of species and the information is generally...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

Traditional animal welfare paradigms have focused on maintaining physical health and mitigating negative impacts to wellbeing. Recently, however, the field has increasingly recognized the importance of positive welfare (i.e., mental and physical states that exceed...

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...

Recent empirical studies have reported evidence that many aquatic species, including fish, cephalopods and crustaceans, have the capacity for nociception and pain, and that their welfare should be taken into consideration. Some sceptics, rejecting the...

Body condition scoring (BCS) is a simple, rapid, noninvasive tool used to assess body condition in animals. In this study, we developed and validated a diagram-based BCS for adult zebrafish (Danio rerio), a popular research...

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...

Understanding how animals experience stress in a laboratory environment is crucial for improving their welfare. Increasing numbers of fish are being used in scientific studies and further research is required to ensure appropriate conditions are...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Home Office guidelines recommend the use of analgesics for all protected species, including fish during scientific procedures likely to result in pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm. In larger fish species some drugs have shown...

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...

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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