Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every four months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

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, Setting, 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, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) are commonly used as cleaner fish in salmon farms as a biological treatment to mitigate sea lice infestation. Improved welfare for cleaner fish both during production of these fish and when...

In intense breeding programs, rabbits are exposed to numerous stress factors which could affect their welfare and health. It has been suggested that group housing is more comfortable for does and similar to the living...

An uncontrolled reproduction of animals in human hands should be avoided. To meet this goal, animals are widely castrated, i.e., the gonads are completely removed. Since the gonads are the most important source of sex...

This experiment was conducted to determine the effects of habituation to livestock trailers on stress responses in goats transported for long periods. Intact male Spanish goats (12-month old; BW = 31.6 ± 0.34 kg; N...

Early offspring separation from mothers causes social deprivation. Mouthbrooding, when eggs and fry are incubated in the buccal cavity of the parent, is one of the reproductive strategies in fish. The mother is the incubating...

Thermal stress causes severe effects on the wellbeing and reproduction of cattle, including changes in oogenesis and spermatogenesis, generating great concerns, which last for decades. In cattle, the occurrence of thermal stress is associated with...

In dairy systems with Zebu breeds, calves are not immediately separated from their dams after calving; consequently, maternal care and protective behavior are important, influencing both productive performance and stockpeople’s safety. Our objectives were to...

Most dairy goat farms rear kids on ad libitum milk replacer; calf research suggests this improves growth and welfare, but solid feed intakes are problematic. Weaning can be gradual (incremental milk reduction) or abrupt (sudden...

Ornamental fishes are among the most commonly owned companion animals in the world, however, the transportation process during acquisition can result in fishes being exposed to biotic and abiotic conditions which compromise welfare. While many...

Early-life adversity impacts on anxiety-related behaviors in adulthood. The effects of such adversity not only affect the animal itself, but can be passed on transgenerationally. Pervasive effects of experimentally-induced early-life stress (ELS) have been documented...

In aquaculture, the transportation of live fish is a crucial but stress-inducing practice, necessitating a thorough understanding of its impact on fish welfare. This study aimed to assess the physiological stress response of meagre (Argyrosomus...

The study aimed to investigate the effects of temperature and dissolved oxygen on juvenile largemouth bass during transportation. The experiment involved four temperature groups: 20, 15, 10, and 5 °C. We analyzed the effects of...

It is estimated that 2 million domestic animals travel on commercial flights every year in the US alone and that dogs make up 58% of pets travelling worldwide. There has been little research on the...

Obtaining quality oocytes is a prerequisite for ART-based studies. Here we describe a method for transabdominal ultrasound-guided (US) oocyte retrieval in rhesus macaques (Macaca mullata) and compare it to the standard surgical approach using laparoscopy...

Members of the North American 3Rs Collaborative (NA3RsC) refinement initiative have chosen to summarize developments in five hot topics of interest: 1. Tips for welfare-friendly transport, chairing, and restraint; 2. Guidance on refining food and...

Medications often require studies performed in sexually mature cynomolgus macaques. At this time, there are few options available to confirm sexual maturity in male macaques. Electroejaculation and collection of seminal fluid are invasive and require...

This article describes the strategies employed by Kumamoto Sanctuary in Japan to integrate 3 retired chimpanzees – who each spent 30 years singly housed in a biomedical facility – with the sanctuary’s other residents.

We assessed effects of two-step debonding strategies in calf rearing systems with different types of prolonged cow-calf contact (CCC) on stress responses, health and performance of dairy cows and calves. Forty-eight Holstein Friesian cow-calf pairs...

As the use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a research model continues to rise, so too will the shipping and sharing of zebrafish strains across collaborating institutions. If done incorrectly, shipping can result in significant...

Many wild animals perform hiding behaviours for a variety of reasons, such as evading predators or other conspecifics. Unlike their wild counterparts, farmed animals often live in relatively barren environments without the opportunity to hide...

Considerable research has been conducted on the effects of inter-institutional transfers, but far less consideration has been given to intra-institutional transfers and extended housing in off-habitat holding. On 15 May 2018, The Oregon Zoo’s orangutans...

The aim of this study was to determine if environmental colour affects the Zebrafrish (Danio rerio) performance metrics of survival, growth rates, fecundity, and fertility. This study created tanks of different colours (green, blue, and...

Stocking density and trough space allowance can potentially impact sheep welfare during live export voyages. The aim of this study was to assess the welfare implications for sheep housed at five allometric stocking densities, with...

This article analyzes the physiological role of pain during parturition in domestic animals, discusses the controversies surrounding the use of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local analgesics as treatments during labor, and presents the...