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. 
Species-specific welfare indicators are important in promoting positive welfare for zoo animals. Reptiles are a notoriously understudied group in regards to behavior, welfare needs, and husbandry requirements. Using opportunistically obtained samples, we evaluated how blood...
In conclusion, the investigations carried out up to now demonstrate that during the early stages fish show high sensitivity to many types of stressors involving an array of responses to overcome alterations that could affect...
The article describes the care of the Olive python (Liasis olivaceus) including information on housing, feeding, handling, as well as the general health care of these animals. Some of the information presented is derived from...
Understanding the behavioral welfare of dogs in commercial breeding kennels (CBKs) is important for improving breeders’ management practices as well as dog welfare. In the current study, breeding dogs from CBKs were exposed to novel...
Objective, reliable behavioral tests are needed to refine on-site welfare assessments of dogs housed at commercial breeding (CB) kennels and provide a basis to inform predictions of their behavior when retired from such kennels. This...
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...
Use of scruffing and scruffing tools (eg, clipnosis clips) to immobilise cats is contentious, and cat handling guidelines vary in recommendations regarding these techniques. The current study examined whether cats show negative responses to the...
This article describes the successful rehoming of 60 Malawi cichlids from a vivarium at Stanford University to San Diego Zoo and the California Academy of Sciences.
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...
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...
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...
Temperament can be defined as interindividual differences in behavior that are stable over time and in different contexts. The terms ‘personality’, ‘coping styles’, and ‘behavioral syndromes’ have also been used to describe these interindividual differences...
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...
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...
The Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) recognizes that several forms of restraint, including physical and chemical, are necessary for the safe handling of nonhuman primates (NHPs). The following guidelines aim to provide information to researchers...
A cohort of captive-bred red-eared slider turtles, Trachemys scripta, was received from a commercial vendor. Shortly after arrival, several turtles presented as lethargic with subjectively pale skin and multifocal areas of cotton-like tufts in the...
In fiscal year 2016, agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats, and cattle represented 10% of the 820 812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife...
When laboratory dogs are rehomed into private households, they experience an extreme change in their life situation. They leave their familiar, limited environment in the research facility and encounter a multitude of animate and inanimate...
Specifically designed restraint chairs are the preferred method of restraint for research studies that require NHP to sit in place for sustained periods of time. In light of increasing emphasis on refinement of restraint to...
The ornamental fish trade is estimated to handle up to 1.5 billion fishes. Transportation and handling of fishes imposes a range of stressors that can result in mortality at rates of up to 73%. Given...
Cats are often subjected to minimally painful or forced procedures during routine clinical practice, which can be poorly tolerated, leading veterinary surgeons to need to offer physical restraint, usually aided by an assistant. The aim...
Introduction: The dog is a frequently-used, non-rodent species in the safety assessment of new chemical entities. We have a scientific and ethical obligation to ensure that the best quality of data is achieved from their...
Adoption of research dogs to private homes is increasingly common; however, the transition can be stressful. Our teaching dog program prepares former laboratory dogs for adoption by introducing challenges experienced in a home setting. All...
This is the third volume of discussions that took place on the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF). This forum is dedicated to the exchange of personal experiences of refining the conditions under which...
The overall benefits of an enrichment and exercise program for research canines has been well documented and is a required element, by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), of any institution’s Animal Care and...

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