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. 
General anesthesia as used for rodent research can have adverse effects on physiologic mechanisms. Thermoregulation is often greatly inhibited, with resultant deleterious effects on cardiac and respiratory function. These potential effects can be mitigated by...
Ecological studies on the critically endangered European eel Anguilla anguilla often incorporate stable isotope analysis that typically uses dorsal muscle sampled from euthanised eels. To minimise the lethal sampling of imperilled populations, fin tissue and/or...
The study of human–animal interactions has provided insights into the welfare of many species. To date, however, research has largely focused on human relationships with captive mammals, with relatively little exploration of interactions between humans...
Rats commonly undergo surgery for research purposes. However, the effects of different methods of hair removal on wound healing and surgical site infections (SSI) in rats has not been evaluated. The current study evaluated 2...
During the development of potential new medicines or agrochemicals, an assessment of the safety profile to humans and environmental species is conducted using a range of different in silico and in vitro techniques in conjunction...
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...
Blood sampling through the caudal vasculature is a widely used technique in fish biology for investigating organismal health and physiology. In live fishes, it can provide a quick, easy and relatively non‐invasive method for obtaining...
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...
General anesthesia is a common procedure in laboratory rats; however, it impairs thermoregulation, rapidly leading to hypothermia as warm core blood is distributed to the cooler periphery. The protective strategy of prewarming before the onset...
Skin closure clips are widely used within the University of Edinburgh to close incision sites for various procedures in both rats and mice. In rats the skin closure clips very often come out as a...
The Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) recognizes that CSF collection may be required for both clinical and research purposes in nonhuman primates (NHP). Because there are inherent risks associated with the technique, the laboratory animal...
Stable isotope analysis (SIA) was used to examine the isotopic relationships between dorsal muscle and fin, scale and epidermal mucus in pike Esox lucius. δ13C and δ15N varied predictably within each tissue pairing, with conversion...
This study was conducted to investigate the effects of blood sampling on animal welfare in a total of 60 NTac:SD rats and 72 C57BL/6NTac mice of both sexes. Blood was sampled either by sublingual vein...
A common method for urine collection from rats requires the use of a metabolic cage, thus exposing animals to extended periods of isolation in an unfamiliar cage with a wire-mesh floor. A new method involving...
Individual responses, particularly based on personality, can have important consequences for individual fitness, based upon success in exploring new habitats, feeding on novel foods, and aggressiveness in competitive interactions. We conducted laboratory experiments to analyze...
Pectoral fin healing in fin spines and rays were examined in juvenile Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus following three different sampling techniques (n = 8-9 fish per treatment): entire leading fin spine removed, a 1-2...
Interstitial fluid (ISF) has recently garnered interest as a biological fluid that could be used as an alternate to blood for biomedical applications, diagnosis, and therapy. ISF extraction techniques are promising because they are less...
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...
Laboratory animals are still necessary in scientific investigation and vaccine testing, but while novel methodological approaches are not available for their replacement, the search for new, humane, easy, and painless methods is necessary to diminish...
The cannulation of the cisterna magna in rats for in vivo sampling of cerebrospinal fluid serves as a valuable model for studying the delivery of new drugs into the central nervous system or disease models...
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...
Animal personalities are ubiquitous across the animal kingdom and have been shown both to influence individual behaviour in the social context and to be affected by it. However, little attention has been paid to possible...
Minimizing the number of animals in regulatory toxicity studies while achieving study objectives to support the development of future medicines contributes to good scientific and ethical practices. Recent advances in technology have enabled the development...
Handling small animals for veterinary and experimental procedures can negatively affect animal wellbeing. We hypothesized that playful handling (tickling) would decrease stress associated with repeated injections in adult laboratory rats, especially those with prior tickling...
This review will examine how individual differences in temperament might affect, or be affected by, behavioral management practices for captive primates. Measuring temperament may help us predict the outcome of social introductions. It can also...

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