The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recommends a database search as the most effective and efficient method for demonstrating compliance with the requirement to consider alternatives to painful/distressful procedures. (USDA, APHIS, Animal Care Policy #12: Consideration of Alternatives to Painful/Distressful Procedures)
-- From the National Agricultural Library's Alternatives Literature Searching page.
A step-by-step guide to systematically identify all relevant animal studies provides detailed guidance to conducting a systematic review with databases. It explains what to do, as well as how and why to do each step. An extraction of the headings results in this briefly outlined strategy:
Within animal research, a specific research question generally contains the following components: (1) intervention/exposure; (2) disease of interest/health problem; (3) animal/animal species/population studied; and (4) outcome measures. A well-formulated research question could then be: ‘What is the effect of [intervention/exposure] on [outcome measures] in [animal/animal species/population studied] for [disease of interest/health problem]?