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. 

Plasma lipid and glucose levels are important parameters for evaluating the onset and development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. In clinical and experimental studies of humans or mice, fasting is often required before testing plasma...

The confined environment of the dog shelter, particularly over extensive time-periods can impact severely on welfare. Surveillance and assessment are therefore essential components of the welfare protocol. The aim of this study was to generate...

Veterinary visits result in behavioural and physiological signs of fear and stress for many companion dogs. There are a number of factors that likely contribute to this response, but little is known about possible effects...

Dogs form toileting preferences that may influence canine elimination behaviors. This study aimed to assess the effect of providing a novel substrate (synthetic grass) on indices of canine willingness to eliminate, plus associated behavioral parameters...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...

Exposure to dog-appeasing pheromones (DAPs) has been suggested to reduce stress-related behaviors in dogs; however, the effects of DAP administered using a portable, rapid use spray has not received as much attention as the plug-in...

Rabbits are known to be finicky about food and will reject it based upon several factors: odor, texture, form, or method of presentation. It can be an even greater challenge to get rabbits to eat...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...

Greyhounds are routinely bred and managed for racing and are usually housed in individual kennels. To address the question of whether greyhounds would benefit from an increase in the minimum kennel size specified in the...

Evaluation of kennel flooring surfaces is needed to understand their impacts on dog health and well-being. This pilot study aimed to characterize aspects of physical health, kennel cleanliness, and dog body cleanliness on flooring types...

Comfortable resting areas for laboratory dogs have been recommended by many authors and by the European Directive 2010/63/EU. They are particularly important for geriatric dogs for age- and health-related reasons. Systematic research in this area...

This work aimed at evaluating the effects of housing system, pen floor type, and lactation management on rabbit doe and kit performance throughout a reproductive cycle, including categorization of aggressiveness and injuries. Forty multiparous pregnant...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 1 November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh and was attended by 70 delegates. Presentation topics included refinements in blood sampling rodents...

Although the number of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) produced in Europe is important, they are under-represented in welfare research. Studies on the effects of housing conditions have focused on performance and mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 21 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on rodent welfare issues and share experiences...

At Pfizer’s Pearl River site, rabbits are socially housed in pairs or triples in dog runs that have been converted into rabbit pens. The daily husbandry and maintenance of these pens, however, proved to be...

This paper describes the use of a validated quality of life assessment tool (described elsewhere) to identify environmental and management factors that may affect quality of life in dogs kennelled in rehoming centres. Dogs were...

Dietary composition and presentation impacts on the behaviour of animals, and failure to provide a suitable diet can lead to reduced welfare through the development of poor health, the inability to express normal behaviours and...

The most common housing system for reproduction rabbits, individual cage housing on a wire floor, is increasingly scrutinized because of its potential detrimental impact on animal welfare. We compared three types of housing: (1) individual...

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of space allowance (4.5 m(2)/head vs. 9 m(2)/head) on the behaviour of shelter dogs (Canis familiaris) at different times of the day (from 10:30 to...

For animals in confinement housing the housing structure has tremendous potential to impact well being. Dogs in animal shelters are often housed in one of two types of confinement housing – single kennels and rooms...

Dogs (Canis familiaris) are a highly social species and within a shelter environment pair-housing is recommended to prevent the stress associated with social isolation. Separation of individuals which may have formed bonds in this environment...

There is increased regulatory emphasis on positive reinforcement training for husbandry, research procedures, and restraint devices. We practice acclimation, association, and positive reinforcement training with our beagle colony with goals to reduce stress for dogs...

Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine: An Introduction, Fourth Edition offers a user-friendly guide to the unique anatomy and physiology, care, common diseases, and treatment of small mammals and nonhuman primates. Carefully designed for ease of use...

Enrichment can be a key element in stress reduction in domestic dogs in both pet and kennel environments. However, providing enrichment to laboratory dogs can be a means for injury or ingestion of objects. Devices...

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