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 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...

Arabella Gray discusses the latest evidence of the negative impact of aversive‐based training methods on companion dog welfare.

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...

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...

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...

Clicker training has been a popular form of training for decades and is used in zoos, aquariums, and shelters. Only a handful of studies have investigated the efficacy of the clicker-training method itself despite its...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Pain management in rabbits can be difficult because they are adept at hiding pain and can be stressed by handling and restraint for injection. The use of opioid analgesics with prolonged durations of activity could...

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...

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...

Dog training methods range broadly from those using mostly positive punishment and negative reinforcement (aversive-based) to those using primarily positive reinforcement (reward-based). Although aversive-based training has been strongly criticized for negatively affecting dog welfare, there...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Oxytocin is increasingly recognized to have a role in human-dog bonding and interactions and a positive influence on various health outcomes including cardiovascular function and stress reactivity. This review summarizes current research investigating human-dog interactions...

Calvarial bone surgery on rabbits is frequently performed. This report aims to document a simple and practical anaesthetic and perioperative management for this procedure. Fourteen male New Zealand white rabbits were included in the study...

The aim of this study was to evaluate intraoperative and postoperative efficacy and cardiovascular effects of levobupivacaine compared with bupivacaine, administered intraperitoneally in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy surgery. Thirty female dogs were divided into three groups...

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