Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every four months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

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, Setting, 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, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) are commonly used as cleaner fish in salmon farms as a biological treatment to mitigate sea lice infestation. Improved welfare for cleaner fish both during production of these fish and when...

This volume reviews the broad topic of welfare in nonhuman primates under human care. Chapters detail the history of primates in captivity, ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of nonhuman primates as entertainment or...

An uncontrolled reproduction of animals in human hands should be avoided. To meet this goal, animals are widely castrated, i.e., the gonads are completely removed. Since the gonads are the most important source of sex...

This experiment was conducted to determine the effects of habituation to livestock trailers on stress responses in goats transported for long periods. Intact male Spanish goats (12-month old; BW = 31.6 ± 0.34 kg; N...

Early offspring separation from mothers causes social deprivation. Mouthbrooding, when eggs and fry are incubated in the buccal cavity of the parent, is one of the reproductive strategies in fish. The mother is the incubating...

Most dairy goat farms rear kids on ad libitum milk replacer; calf research suggests this improves growth and welfare, but solid feed intakes are problematic. Weaning can be gradual (incremental milk reduction) or abrupt (sudden...

Ornamental fishes are among the most commonly owned companion animals in the world, however, the transportation process during acquisition can result in fishes being exposed to biotic and abiotic conditions which compromise welfare. While many...

In aquaculture, the transportation of live fish is a crucial but stress-inducing practice, necessitating a thorough understanding of its impact on fish welfare. This study aimed to assess the physiological stress response of meagre (Argyrosomus...

The study aimed to investigate the effects of temperature and dissolved oxygen on juvenile largemouth bass during transportation. The experiment involved four temperature groups: 20, 15, 10, and 5 °C. We analyzed the effects of...

It is estimated that 2 million domestic animals travel on commercial flights every year in the US alone and that dogs make up 58% of pets travelling worldwide. There has been little research on the...

Farm animals are routinely subjected to painful husbandry procedures for various purposes. Goat kids are disbudded to improve goat welfare and to ensure safety of other livestock, farm personnel, attending veterinarians and for various other...

This article describes the strategies employed by Kumamoto Sanctuary in Japan to integrate 3 retired chimpanzees – who each spent 30 years singly housed in a biomedical facility – with the sanctuary’s other residents.

Previously, dog personality traits that seem to correspond have been identified by the Dog Mentality Assessment (DMA) and the Behaviour and Personality Assessment in Dogs (BPH): Playfulness, Sociability, Curiosity/fearlessness (DMA) vs. Non-social fearfulness (BPH), Aggressiveness...

Many wild animals perform hiding behaviours for a variety of reasons, such as evading predators or other conspecifics. Unlike their wild counterparts, farmed animals often live in relatively barren environments without the opportunity to hide...

To determine the optimal timing for performing castration on goats, eighteen male Nubian crossbred goats were randomly assigned to two groups and castrated at 3 months and 6 months of age, respectively. Daily dry matter...

This article analyzes the physiological role of pain during parturition in domestic animals, discusses the controversies surrounding the use of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local analgesics as treatments during labor, and presents the...

Chronic stress is a major source of welfare problems in many captive populations, including fishes. While we have long known that chronic stress effects arise from maladaptive expression of acute stress response pathways, predicting where...

Welfare is an individual attribute. In general, providing captive nonhuman animals with conditions conducive to good welfare is an idea more easily applied when dealing with few individuals. However, this becomes much harder—if not impossible—under...

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...

Cautery disbudding is a painful procedure performed on goat kids to prevent horn growth that may result in brain injury. Thermal damage to the cerebral cortex of the brain and subsequent neurologic disease is a...

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...

The study of human–animal interactions has provided insights into the welfare of many species. To date, however, research has largely focused on human relationships with captive mammals, with relatively little exploration of interactions between humans...

Early-life experiences may considerably affect the behavioural patterns of adult primates. Particularly, atypical rearing practices might lead to abnormal behaviours and social-sexual deficiencies in captive, adult non-human primates. We conducted behavioural observations of mother-reared (n...

Goat kids are frequently disbudded in intensively farmed units to reduce the number of accidental injuries to other animals and farm workers due to horn growth. The most commonly used method is thermal disbudding which...