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. 

Environmental enrichment (EE) can be used to enhance the environment of various animals. The aim of this pilot study was to determine the effects of seven EE activities (Bonding, Bubble machine, Conspecific play, Interactive toy...

Veterinary visits can be stressful for dogs, but how their wellbeing changes during a visit is not well understood. Music therapy has been successfully used in clinical practice to alleviate stress and anxiety in people...

Sea turtles perform various ecological services in several marine environments and are considered architects of the marine landscape. At present, they are endangered species due to anthropogenic threats, pollution and degradation of marine habitats. These...

Environmental enrichment is a method to increase environmental heterogeneity, which may reduce stress and improve animal welfare. Previous studies have shown that environmental enrichment can increase the growth rate, decrease aggressive and anxiety-like behaviors, improve...

A negative human-animal relationship (HAR) from the perspective of the animal is a limiting factor affecting farm animal welfare, as well as farm animal productivity. Research in farm animals has elucidated sequential relationships between stockperson...

Decisions about which foods to use during training and enrichment for captive animals may be based on invalid assumptions about individuals’ preferences. It is important to assess the stability of food preferences given that one-time...

For animals undergoing rehabilitation it is vital to monitor welfare in a way that is feasible, practical, and limits stress to the animal. The industry gold standard is to assess welfare under the Five Domains...

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) constitute a useful model for studying memory function and impairment in vertebrates and are now widely used in translational research. On the one hand, the adoption of simple, fast and reliable tests...

Owners may enhance their cats’ welfare by social enrichment (e.g. positive human-animal interactions), and physical enrichment (e.g. play objects). The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between owner characteristics (e.g. attitudes, attachment), household...

Research into cat behavior has gained more attention in recent years. As one of the world’s most popular companion animals, work in this field has potential to have wide-reaching benefits. Cats living in shelters are...

Domestic pet dogs typically spend a large amount of time inside the home environment, including hours alone. An audio/food dispensing automated device (an artificial agent, hereafter agent) was evaluated for enrichment potential. The agent issued...

Providing novel and creative enrichments for nonhuman primates improves their mental wellbeing and is thus an important aspect of all husbandry programs. These enrichments are often presented through variations in diet, toys, and environmental features...

This traditional snack has a variety of options for NHP enrichment. From fruit to cereals, get creative with the “ants” and remember to consider different fillings for the celery log.

This study aimed to determine whether tank enrichment improved positive species-specific behaviors (those that benefit the animals' overall well-being), such as basking, and/or decreased negative behaviors (those that may indicate stress, agitation, or discomfort), such...

Here is a simple, fast, and easy recipe for making homemade dog gummies only using 2 ingredients. The main ingredient in gelatin is collagen, a protein found in animal tissues, ligaments, tendons, bones, and skin...

Reading books to shelter animals combining auditory enrichment with human presence is increasingly used although its effects on animal welfare have not yet been investigated. This study compared the behaviour of single-housed shelter dogs and...

Shelters are frequently used for fish rearing to improve welfare conditions. In this study, whether Nile tilapia prefers specific shelter colors was evaluated. Thus, fish preference for white, red, blue, green or yellow shelters was...

This great cool-down snack is ideal for group or singly housed swine or nonhuman primates (particularly in larger pen-style housing). This item can be customized for canines as well by modifying the liquid used and/or...

The origins of floor-laying in ducks could be low motivation for a nest, or stress related to difficulties with accessing a nest (e.g. competition). Using a behavioural demand test, we investigated if increasing the work...

The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is widely used as a promising translational model organism for studying various brain disorders. Zebrafish are also commonly used in behavioral and drug screening assays utilizing individually tested (socially isolated) fish...

Most research to enrich the environment of psittacines in captivity has focused on foraging. Little is known about the importance of bathing substrates for enrichment of their environment, despite this being a natural behaviour that...

Dogs experience both acute and chronic stress when living in animal shelters. Current best practices recommend a variety of techniques for reducing stress such as enhanced human interactions including play or training, novel feeding strategies...

Animals are often kept in conditions with low environmental complexity and for long periods in barren artificial environments. This has been shown to lead to poor welfare in many species of animals. We assessed the...

Captive breeding is vital for primate conservation, with modern zoos serving a crucial role in breeding populations of threatened species and educating the general public. However, captive populations can experience welfare issues that may also...

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