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. 
Modern herpetoculture has seen a rise in welfare-related habitat modifications, although ethologically-informed enclosure design and evidence-based husbandry are lacking. The diversity that exists within snakes complicates standardizing snake welfare assessment tools and evaluation techniques. Utilizing...
Despite the use of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) in research, little is known about the evaluation of pain in this species. This study investigated whether the frequency of certain behaviors, a grimace scale, the treat-take-test...
Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (SONFH) is a condition documented in humans and animals exposed to chronic steroid administration. The rabbit has become a preferred animal model for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of...
During social interactions, acoustic parameters of tetrapods’ vocalisations reflect the emotional state of the caller. Higher levels of spectral noise and the occurrence of irregularities (non-linear phenomena NLP) might be negative arousal indicators in alarm...
Dogs and cats have been extensively studied of late in relation to their paw preferences, with both species showing preferential motor bias at the level of the individual. Over the years, a wide range of...
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...
Humans interact with fishes in many contexts including aquaculture, scientific study and companion animals. In all of these contexts, fish welfare can be compromised through anthropogenic means. Concern for fish welfare has grown considerably in...
This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...
In order to assess the extent to which the legally prescribed training for the acquisition of animal experimentation expertise provides scientific personnel with the necessary competence and expertise to carry out a correct harm-benefit analysis...
There is an increasing focus on evidence-based welfare assessment by animal care staff in zoos, along with a strong interest in animal welfare by the zoo-visiting public, to the extent that this can influence their...
I review studies that examined the possibility of pain experience in fish and note how they provided guidance on general methods that could be applied to other animals such as decapod crustaceans. The fish studies...
Cephalopods are increasingly viewed as sentient animals that require the same welfare consideration as their vertebrate counterparts. In this study, an observational welfare assessment tool developed by the EU Directive was revised to be species-specific...
Appropriate end-points are integral to the refinement of laboratory animal experiments. Our recent experience has highlighted that ambiguity around end-points is hampering their adoption in experiments that cause severe suffering to fish. In toxicology, the...
Regardless of the microbiological status of an animal facility, research animals may experience health problems, leading to pain, suffering and distress. Simple and efficient tools are needed to collect data systematically, allowing researchers to react...
A species-specific composite pain scale is a prerequisite for adequate pain assessment. The aim of this study was to develop a multidimensional pain scale specific to rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) called the Bristol Rabbit Pain Scale...
Whether animals have emotions was historically a long-lasting question but, today, nobody disputes that they do. However, how to assess them and how to guarantee animals their welfare have become important research topics in the...
Animals’ facial expressions are involuntary responses that serve to communicate the emotions that individuals feel. Due to their close co-existence with humans, broad attention has been given to identifying these expressions in certain species, especially...
This review describes the current state of knowledge relating to scientific literature on welfare indicators for goats. Our aim was to provide an overview of animal-based indicators for on-farm welfare assessments. We performed a literature...
A top priority of modern zoos is to ensure good animal welfare (AW), thus, efforts towards improving AW monitoring are increasing. Welfare assessments are performed through more traditional approaches by employing direct observations and time-consuming...
Wildlife research has been indispensable for increasing our insight into ecosystem functioning as well as for designing effective conservation measures under the currently high rates of biodiversity loss. Genetic and genomic analyses might be able...
Published data are sparse regarding the recognition of clinically relevant pain and appropriate analgesia in amphibians. The amphibian analgesia literature has primarily focused on nociceptive pathways in a single species, the northern leopard frog (Rana...
Objective, reliable behavioral tests are needed to refine on-site welfare assessments of dogs housed at commercial breeding (CB) kennels and provide a basis to inform predictions of their behavior when retired from such kennels. This...
Teleost fish such as Danio rerio (zebrafish) have been successfully used in biomedical research since decades. Genetically altered fish lines obtained by state-of-the-art genetic technologies are serving as well-known model organisms. In Europe, following Directive...
As pets are considered members of the family, their health has received widespread attention. Since pets cannot talk and complain when they feel uncomfortable, monitoring vital signs becomes very helpful in disease detection, as well...

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