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. 

Whether you are an animal care/husbandry technician, facility manager, or veterinarian, everyone bemoans a leaky drinking valve (often referred to as a lixit). Leaking drinking valves and flooded cages are a fairly common problem when...

This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...

The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...

Ensuring optimal housing conditions for laboratory animals is a crucial prerequisite for high-quality and ethically justifiable in vivo science. In addition to guaranteeing animal welfare and promoting scientific validity, environmental sustainability is also increasingly gaining...

Most would agree that animals in research should be spared “unnecessary” harm, pain, or distress, and there is also growing interest in providing animals with some form of environmental enrichment. But is this the standard...

One of our colony’s five guinea pigs started to develop a moderate case of pododermatitis (bumblefoot) on one paw, which staff were keen to alleviate to prevent any detrimental effects that this might have on...

Little research has been carried out into how guinea pigs are cared for in the UK, and information regarding potential welfare issues is sparse. This study was designed to examine the five welfare needs, collecting...

Due to the lack of L-cones in the rodent retina, it is generally assumed that red light is invisible to rodents. Thus, red lights and red filter foils are widely used in rodent husbandry and...

Convergent evidence in literature shows that rapid disruption of maternal care and breastfeeding due to an early weaning protocol changes the development of several neurobehavioral patterns in rodents, including the circadian pattern of feeding. The...

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...

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...

This poster describes the development of a sifting cage change method for rats to improve welfare. I came up with the idea after seeing how skittish and stressed the rats in my unit were and...

Relocating laboratory animal research from one animal facility room to another in advance of major renovations can be a daunting task for scientists and animal care personnel alike. This is especially so regarding controlled lighting...

Environmental enrichment provides physiological and emotional benefits to laboratory rodents. Red tinted shelters are a common enrichment found in laboratories that provide rodents with a hiding space shielded from bright light. Red tinting alters the...

The presentation I gave at IAT Congress 2019 was based on the changes and refinements the University of Dundee, Medical School Resource Unit (MSRU) has made over the past 18 months. These changes, described in...

Rodents, particularly rats and mice, are the most commonly used laboratory animals and are extensively used in neuroscience research, including as translational models for human disorders. It is common practice to carry out scientific procedures...

The poor record of basic-to-clinical translation in recent decades has led to speculation that preclinical research is “irreproducible”, and this irreproducibility in turn has largely been attributed to deficiencies in reporting and statistical practices. There...

Laboratories and vivariums typically are maintained at ambient temperatures of 20 to 24 °C, leading to cold stress in mice. When mice are inactive and sleeping during the light phase, their zone of thermoneutrality associated...

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...

Diet board (DB) feeding aims to reduce the health hazards associated with ad libitum (AL) feeding. Rats have to gnaw wood to detach food from the DB, reducing their food consumption. We studied the welfare...

Enrichment devices made of materials such as nylon and wood are common gnawing devices used in animal facilities. In most institutions, these devices are used for a limited period and then discarded. At Pfizer, enrichment...

This study sought to identify an optimal rodent bedding and cage-change interval to establish standard procedures for the IVC in our rodent vivarium. Disposable cages were prefilled with either corncob or α-cellulose bedding and were...

Research has indicated that witnessing managemental procedures are stressful to laboratory rats. Yet there has been little investigation into whether the time of witnessing these procedures affects behaviour and welfare in these animals. Ninety-six rats...

The welfare of laboratory rats and mice is sought to be optimised through adjustment of a variety of environmental factors, including light intensity and photoperiodicity. However, the fact that rodents are able to perceive ultraviolet...

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