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. 

Mobile zoos are events in which non-domesticated (exotic) and domesticated species are transported to venues such as schools, hospitals, parties, and community centres, for the purposes of education, entertainment, or social and therapeutic assistance. We...

Visitors are a prominent feature in the lives of zoo animals, and their presence can cause a range of impacts on zoo animals (typically classed as positive, negative or neutral impacts), commonly referred to as...

Intensive breeding practices found in large scale Commercial Breeding Establishments (CBEs) raise significant concerns about breeding dam welfare. Large-scale CBE dams spend most of their reproductive lives confined to kennels, with limited access to enriching...

Human interaction is one of the most consistently effective interventions that can improve the welfare of shelter-living dogs. Time out of the kennel with a person has been shown to reduce physiological measures of stress...

The article presents and discusses the issues of the use of free-living invertebrates to assess the ecological status of freshwater environments with different methods of biological monitoring. Invertebrates are excluded from ethical consideration in the...

Background The gastrointestinal microbiome and metabolome vary greatly throughout the different segments of the gastrointestinal tract, however current knowledge of gastrointestinal microbiome and metabolome in health and disease is limited to fecal samples due to...

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...

CAIs (canine-assisted interventions) include “canine-assisted therapy” in which a therapist sets client-oriented goals, “canine-assisted activities” with recreational goals for clients, and “canine-assisted education/learning” in which teachers or coaches create learning goals for students or clients...

Welfare considerations and regulations for invertebrates have lagged behind those for vertebrates, despite invertebrates comprising more than 95% of earth’s species. Humans interact with and use aquatic invertebrates for exhibition in zoos and aquaria, as...

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...

The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...

Introduction: A successful integration of automated blood sampling (ABS) into the telemetry instrumented canine cardiovascular model is presented in this study. This combined model provides an efficient means to quickly gain understanding of potential effects...

Dogs and cats under general anesthesia may develop hypothermia. When performing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination, it is not possible to place a magnetic material in the MRI room, and MRI equipment requires a...

During the development of potential new medicines or agrochemicals, an assessment of the safety profile to humans and environmental species is conducted using a range of different in silico and in vitro techniques in conjunction...

The effect visitors may have on the welfare of professionally managed animals is vital to consider. The present study utilized an experimental approach to examine how 360° visitor viewing access (i.e., viewing from all sides...

Domestic dogs experience a sensitive period for learning during early life and conditions during this time can have important consequences in the adult. We investigated the effects of kennel environment during early life, comparing the...

Positive reinforcement training (PRT) is associated with increases in species-typical behavior and decreases in stereotypic and abnormal behavior in participating animals. Physiological changes following PRT, for example, increases in oxytocin (OXT) and/or decreases in cortisol...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

Metabolism cages are designed to conduct absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) studies, enabling an ‘excretion balance’ scientific objective to be met. Historically, the design of dog metabolism cages has involved single housing. This type...

Family dogs (Canis familiaris) seek human contact from an early age, can discriminate and prefer their caregivers over other humans. To investigate if being kept as a family animal is sufficient to induce similar early...

There is a long history of laboratory studies of the physiological and behavioral effects of stress, its reduction, and the later psychological and behavioral consequences of unmitigated stress responses. Many of the stressors employed in...

Pet rabbit welfare is a hidden crisis: Inappropriately housed, fed, and not routinely provided healthcare—rabbits can often suffer painful conditions and shortened lifespans. This study provides novel understanding of owners’ perceptions of rabbits’ mental capabilities...

Domestic animals often seek and enjoy interacting with humans. Positive human–animal relationships can elicit positive emotions and other positive welfare outcomes. Nevertheless, our understanding of the underlying processes that govern the positive perception of humans...

For many dogs, receiving veterinary care can be a stressful, fearful or traumatic experience. However, understanding and improving the veterinary experience for dogs is challenging due to the dynamic nature of the veterinary visit, the...

Interactions between zoo professionals and animals occur regularly and are believed to be enriching for animals. Little empirical information exists on how animals perceive these interactions, and particularly how the interactions affect the emotional states...