Refinement Initiative

We collaborate to increase the uptake of evidence-based refinement techniques.

When using animals in research, we should strive to continuously improve their lives through the application of the principle of refinement. Refinement means minimizing any pain, suffering, and distress of research while also improving welfare. It includes improving housing and husbandry as well as promoting expression of species-specific behavior.

NA3RsC’s refinement initiative strives to promote the highest standards of housing, husbandry, and procedures in laboratory animal care to improve animal welfare and scientific rigor. Thus far, we have crated a variety of refinement resource pages on common species.

In 2021, we are focused on promoting non-aversive handling of mice (i.e., tunnel handling or cupping). We are conducting a widespread benchmarking survey to determine how common this practice is and any remaining concerns. We also will be presenting an expert talk and presenting a resource page.

Do you have a question about your refinement at your institution?

Contact us at . We can act as a resource/consulting group for institutions looking for an external review.

Are you interested in joining our group?

Send a brief statement of interest and your CV/resume to the initiative leadership: Jennifer McMillan (jmcmil3 “at” and Sarah Thurston (sthursto “at”

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