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. 

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 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...

This study reveals, for the first time, an interspecific synchronization in long-term stress levels. Previously, acute stress has been shown to be highly contagious both among humans and between individuals of other species. Here, long-term...

Some otherwise non-aggressive dogs may display fear-induced aggression under stressful conditions. Admittance to an animal shelter is a stressful experience for dogs, and aggression is often used as a criterion by shelters for precluding opportunities...

In comparison to non-human animals, humans are highly flexible in cooperative tasks, which may be a result of their ability to understand a partner’s role in such interactions. Here, we tested if wolves and dogs...

Human body odors contain chemosignals that make species-specific communication possible. Interspecies communication studies were conducted on dogs and horses subjected to human chemosignals produced in happiness and fear emotional states. Dogs showed behaviors consistent with...

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...

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...

Over-activity, or excessive locomotion and barking in the kennel, may be unattractive to adopters and an indicator of poor welfare of kenneled dogs. The study assessed the efficacy of two common enrichment strategies, providing calm...

It is well established that human interaction has positive effects on shelter dogs. This work set out to answer the question: “Does one 15-min petting session make a difference for shelter dogs?” Fifty-five dogs were...

Human physical contact is known to be effective in decreasing dogs' level of stress, assessed through endocrine, physiological, and behavioral parameters. Gentle touching has been found to be beneficial for dogs while experiencing or after...

Our goal was to improve dog socialization by increasing novel human interactions, while also providing non-animal care staff opportunity to interact with the dogs. Our volunteer dog socialization program was developed to explore the possibility...

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...

The study of laboratory animal behavior has increased steadily over the last decade, with expanding emphasis on a variety of commonly used species. In the United States, this trend was initially focused on species for...

For anyone who has housed rabbits in an artificial plastic environment, what to provide as a nonfood enrichment can be an issue. Nonfood enrichment, or environmental enrichment, can be any toy, engaging sights or sounds...

The effect of animal-assisted activities (AAA) on the animal participants has been minimally investigated, and the welfare of these animals has been questioned. To enhance our understanding of these animals’ welfare, we measured cortisol collected...

Housing in an animal shelter is a stressful experience for dogs. This study examined the effects of different forms of human interaction on concentrations of circulating cortisol and stress-related behaviors of dogs within 40 h...

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of housing conditions on daily rhythm of total locomotor activity in dogs. Seven clinically healthy dogs (Canis familiaris) were used and divided into two groups...

Since opening in 2008, a consistent observation has been that the dogs are significantly quieter and easier to handle in their new surroundings in comparison to the old facility. This may be due to specific...

The use of dogs in research has been under increasing public scrutiny and criticism over the past several years, and our institution has been no exception. Of particular concern is the use of Class B...

Routine laboratory procedures can be stressful for laboratory animals. We wanted to determine whether human handling of adult rabbits could induce a degree of habituation, reducing stress and facilitating research-related manipulation. To this end, adult...

This book focuses primarily on human kindness and compassion rather than on human cruelty, callousness, indifference, and egocentric endeavors. It is common knowledge that many lay people and professional researchers treat animals in their charge...

Comprehensive enrichment programs for dogs, while not required by regulations, are becoming more common in research facilities. Many institutions are providing chewable enrichment devices and pair or group housing for their canine colonies. Human interaction...

At Huntingdon Life Sciences, we have developed a program to meet the exercise and socialization needs of our canines. Our program, entitled "Zen Pen" is a 30-minute weekly play session with at least two technicians...

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