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. 

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...

This article describes the steps for making a DIY guinea pig or rabbit cardboard foraging ball. Pictures are provided for each step as well as the completed ball. These cardboard foraging balls can be made...

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...

Domestic guinea pigs (Cavia aperea f. porcellus) in laboratories have been shown to actively avoid the centers of their cages. This experiment tested a novel, dark-colored “shader” placed over the central portion of a cage...

The study of laboratory animal behavior has increased steadily over the last decade, with expanding emphasis on a variety of commonly used species. In the United States, this trend was initially focused on species for...

In practice, consideration is given to providing most of the species used in research,testing and education withsome level of environmental enrichment. However, although the current level of awareness and understanding about the benefits of environmental...

Current housing guidelines for laboratory rodents include recommendations for enrichment. Working with guinea pigs, we have developed an open-field enrichment paradigm that provides several aspects of this species' natural environment. These naturalistic aspects include access...

Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine: An Introduction, Fourth Edition offers a user-friendly guide to the unique anatomy and physiology, care, common diseases, and treatment of small mammals and nonhuman primates. Carefully designed for ease of use...

The ideal animal model would contribute no confounding variables in experimental science. Variables affect experimental design resulting in increased animal use or repeated studies. We demonstrated a simple refinement which may reduce the number of...

Environmental enrichment can be defined as altering the living environment of captive animals in order to provide them with opportunities to express more of their natural behavioral repertoire. The challenge of providing effective enrichment in...

Environmental enrichment must be provided for the various animal species that are housed in laboratory animal facilities. Wheatgrass can be used as a natural form of enrichment that requires minimal preparation and effort. Wheatgrass is...

This column discusses the use of novel dietary supplements as environmental enrichment for rodents and rabbits. Items are commercially available from lab animal supply companies. The purpose of enrichment is to encourage behaviors that are...

This article provides details to consider when preparing to use animals in biomedical research. The stress of transport and receipt of animals into a new environment mandate the need for a period of stabilization and...

Valuable recommendations for the species-adequate housing and species-approriate care of guinea pigs; topics include Housing (enclosure size, substrate, shelter, nesting material), Environmental Enrichment, and Husbandry (light, temperature, humidity, cleaning).

In this article, laws and guidelines relating to rodent enrichment are reviewed, the natural behaviors of select rodent species are discussed, and an overview of widely used types of enrichment in laboratory rodent management is...

Environmental conditions such as housing and husbandry have a major impact on the laboratory animal throughout its life and will thereby influence the outcome of animal experiments. However, housing systems for laboratory animals have often...

The question was raised how the environment of guinea pigs can be best enriched in the research laboratory setting. In summary, social-housing is the most species-appropriate living environment for guinea pigs. If a research protocol...

Neonatal (early) handling (EH) and environmental enrichment (EE) of laboratory rodents have been the two most commonly used methods of providing supplementary environmental stimulation in order to study behavioral and neurobiological plasticity. A large body...

Group housing [female] guinea pigs can save space and money, while improving housing standards. The authors describe enclosure design, enrichments, and husbandry techniques that facilitate group housing female guinea pigs. No data are included in...

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