The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique: Chapter 7, Refinement

Chapter 7 in the 1959 book by W.M.S. Russell and R.L. Burch discusses refinement in the context of animal experimentation.


Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Research.

Definition and explanation of what is meant by the term refinement in animal research. A list of additonal web links is included at the bottom.

Refinement of Animal Use - Assessment and Alleviation of Pain and Distress (PDF | 2.45 MB)

International Journal of Laboratory Animal Science and Welfare.

A review article on methods of clinical pain assessment in animals, including a discussion of pain alleviation techniques.


Animal Ethics Infolink.

Provides information on assessing the impact of any procedure or condition on the well-being of the animal and strategies to eliminate or minimize that impact.

Refinement Benefits Animal Welfare and Quality of Science

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research.

This article presents examples of refining experimental procedures and how this can improve animal welfare and lead to better quality results.

The Importance of Non-statistical Design in Refining Animal Experiments (PDF | 95 KB)

Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching Ltd.

This paper demonstrates strategies that can contribute markedly to minimizing pain and suffering in a research experiment using animals.

Readings and Resources on the Third R: Refinement

University of California. Center for Animal Alternatives.

This web page provides search templates from databases, such as PubMed and Agricola, on the topics regarding refinement.

Reducing Suffering - Refinement

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Provides information from the BVA(AWF)/FRAME/RSPCA/UFAW Joint Working Group on Refinement.