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. 

In many animal experiments scientists and local authorities define a body-weight reduction of 20% or more as severe suffering and thereby as a potential parameter for humane endpoint decisions. In this study, we evaluated distinct...

Ensuring that laboratory rodent pain is well managed underpins the ethical acceptability of working with these animals in research. Appropriate treatment of pain in laboratory rodents requires accurate assessments of the presence or absence of...

Comparative severity assessment of animal models and experimental interventions is of utmost relevance for harm-benefit analysis during ethical evaluation, an animal welfare-based model prioritization as well as the validation of refinement measures. Unfortunately, there is...

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...

The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate whether behavioral or locomotor tests (Open Field (OF), rotarod (RR), and CatWalk (CW)) can help assess the severity of laparotomy in rats. The new EU Directive...

A primary goal in preclinical animal research is respectful and responsible care aimed toward minimizing stress and discomfort while enhancing collection of accurate and reproducible scientific data. Researchers use hands-on clinical observations and measurements as...

Accurate pain assessment methods are necessary to ensure animal welfare and reliable data collection in animal research. The Rat Grimace Scale (RGS), a facial expression pain scale, allows effective identification of pain. However, the potential...

The measurement of pain in animals is surprisingly complex, and remains a critical issue in veterinary care and biomedical research. Based on the known utility of pain measurement via facial expression in verbal and especially...

The rat grimace scale (RGS) is a measure of spontaneous pain that evaluates pain response. The ability to characterize pain through a non-invasive method has considerable utility for numerous animal models of disease, including mucositis...

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...

In the past, there was a strong focus on avoiding or reducing negative animal welfare in animal experimentation. Recently, the importance of promoting positive animal welfare in laboratory animals has been highlighted. To ensure and...

Minimization and alleviation of stress are generally viewed as desirable aspects of laboratory animal management and use. However, achieving that goal requires an unambiguous and valid measure of stress. Glucocorticoid concentrations are commonly used as...

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...

Scientific methods for assessing animal affect, especially affective valence (positivity or negativity), allow us to evaluate animal welfare and the effectiveness of 3Rs Refinements designed to improve wellbeing. Judgement bias tasks measure valence; however, task-training...

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...

Living together in large social communities within an enriched environment stimulates self-motivated activity in rats. We developed a modular housing system in which a single unit can accommodate as many as 48 rats and contains...

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...

Judgement bias tests of animal affect and hence welfare assume that the animal’s responses to ambiguous stimuli, which may herald positive or negative outcomes, are under instrumental control and reflect ‘optimism’ or ‘pessimism’ about what...

This cross-sectional study investigated the use of infrared thermography as a diagnostic tool for pododermatitis in captive greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus). Photographs and thermal images were obtained for 775 feet from 408 flamingos held at...

Human decision making is modified by emotional state. Rodents exhibit similar biases during interpretation of ambiguous cues that can be altered by affective state manipulations. In this study, the impact of negative affective state on...

Until recently, research in animal welfare science has mainly focused on negative experiences like pain and suffering, often neglecting the importance of assessing and promoting positive experiences. In rodents, specific facial expressions have been found...

Over 234,000 rats were used in regulated procedures in the UK in 2014, many of which may have resulted in some degree of pain. When using animals in research, there is an ethical and legal...

Fracture healing is a complex regeneration process which produces new bone tissue without scar formation. However, fracture healing disorders occur in approximately 10% of human patients and cause severe pain and reduced quality of life...

Postoperative monitoring of pain and distress in small rodents is not standardized, and widely accepted score sheets are not available. Here we describe a score sheet used in abdominal surgery of rodents, with particular reference...

Score sheets were first introduced 30 years ago to assess pain, distress and suffering in animals. To date, however, there is still no general agreement on their use in research practice, and only a few...

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