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. 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The overpopulation of shelters and the increase of homeless dogs have become serious problems in many countries. One contributor to the number of both sheltered and homeless dogs is the abandonment and relinquishment of pet...

We argue that there is currently an under-reporting of the ways in which pain can be associated with problem behavior, which is seriously limiting the recognition of this welfare problem. A review of the caseloads...

Unwanted dogs are an international problem, and rehoming organisations are tasked with finding many of them appropriate homes. Whilst the processes involved in assessing dogs' suitability for rehoming have received considerable academic attention, the policies...

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...

Ensuring that laboratory rodent pain is well managed underpins the ethical acceptability of working with these animals in research. Appropriate treatment of pain in laboratory rodents requires accurate assessments of the presence or absence of...

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...

In dogs, the social and spatial restriction associated with living in a kennel environment could lead to chronic stress and the development of abnormal behaviors (“kennel-dog syndrome”). However, little is known about how kenneled dogs...

Rabbits are the third species in terms of number of animals reared for meat production in the world. However, in comparison to other species, very few studies have focused on their welfare. The aim of...

Elizabethan collars are used in companion animals primarily to prevent self-trauma and associated negative welfare states in animals. However, they have been anecdotally associated with negative impacts on animal health and welfare including distress, abraded/ulcerated...

Nociceptive threshold (NT) testing is widely used for the study of pain and its alleviation. The end point is a normal behavioural response, which may be affected by restraint or unfamiliar surroundings, leading to erroneous...

This article describes the rehoming of 10 laboratory female rabbits now living as a group in a private shelter.

Accurate assessments of behavior and welfare are needed to evaluate the state of domestic dogs maintained in commercial breeding (CB) and other types of kennels. Field assessments of dogs’ states of being must be valid...

Not all animals behave identically when faced with the same situation. These individual differences in the expression of their behavior could be due to many factors, including medical conditions. These medical problems can change behavior...

Disposal of dogs retired from commercial breeding facilities presents a scientific and ethical problem. This pilot study aimed to develop criteria for identifying commercial breeding (CB) dogs likely to be at risk for problems during...

Dogs exposed to aversive events can become inactive and unresponsive and are commonly referred to as being "depressed", but this association remains to be tested. We investigated whether shelter dogs spending greater time inactive "awake...

The shelter environment may have a severe impact on the dogs’ quality of life, and there is thus a need to develop valid tools to assess their welfare. These tools should be sensitive not only...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

Hundreds of thousands of dogs are housed in kennels worldwide, yet there are no standard protocols for assessing the welfare of dogs in these environments. Animal science is focusing increasingly on the importance of animal-based...

The aim of this study was to assess hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that were subjected to relocation and surgery to evaluate HPA-axis activity; in addition, we used this marker...

This study describes a refined/modified vest and jacket worn by dogs to capture ECG data after they are given a compound of interest. The modified vest and jacket prevents dogs from chewing the leads and...

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