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. 

We would like to rebut the argument made by Saraiva et al. (1) in their paper “Finding the “golden stocking density”: a balance between fish welfare and farmers' perspectives,” that stocking densities should not be...

The objective was to evaluate the impacts of a complex environment and stocking density on Ross 708 broiler chicken behaviors. Eight pens contained either high complexity (HC) or low complexity (LC) environments, and high (HD)...

In conventional rearing systems, fast-growing broiler chickens commonly experience welfare issues, such as contact dermatitis, walking difficulties or a lack of expression of species-specific behaviours. Enriching their environment may be a way to improve their...

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...

As a global society, we have a duty to provide suitable care and conditions for farmed livestock to protect animal welfare and ensure the sustainability of our food supply. The suitability and biological impacts of...

Stocking density and trough space allowance can potentially impact sheep welfare during live export voyages. The aim of this study was to assess the welfare implications for sheep housed at five allometric stocking densities, with...

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...

The effects of stocking density on fish welfare are complex and involve many interacting parameters. This complex relationship between fish welfare, stocking density and influencing factors make it challenging to define a specific optimal (“golden”)...

The objective of this study was to describe the ontogeny of the severe feather pecking (SFP), gentle feather pecking (GFP), aggressive pecking (AP), and enrichment pecking (EP) of non-beak-trimmed Lohmann Brown (LB)-pullets during the first...

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...

The broiler industry has come under sustained pressure from welfare organizations to improve broiler welfare. Breed and stocking density are important factors for broiler welfare and are often specified as criteria for higher welfare systems...

Access to pasture is a main benefit of free-range broiler housing systems, yet the level of outdoor stocking density on broiler animal welfare remains unsettled. The growth, feather damage, pasture ranging and behaviors were assessed...

Barren housing and high stocking densities may contribute to negative affective states in broiler chickens, reducing their welfare. We investigated the effects of environmental complexity and stocking density on broilers’ attention bias (measure of anxiety)...

Resting behaviours make up a large part of the daily time budget of broilers. However, in intensive broiler production systems disruptions of resting behaviours occur, where resting individuals get disturbed by active individuals. Such interruptions...

The Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) is a solitary and naturally territorial animal, with female hamsters being more aggressive than males. This behavior makes handling difficult because they are usually housed in groups, which can lead...

Temperament assessment is useful in reintroduction programs. Reactivity to humans and flight ability are also important behavioral aspects for captive parrots candidates to reintroduction. The study aimed: a) to evaluate if behavioral responses to environmental...

Cattle are subjected to routine procedures that require restraint and close contact to humans, which are both potentially aversive to the animal. Positive reinforcement training techniques may affect how animals perceive and respond to these...

Personality is often defined as the behaviour of individual animals that is consistent across contexts and over time. Personality traits may become unstable during stages of ontogeny from infancy to adulthood, especially during major periods...

Housing systems and environmental features can influence beef cattle welfare. To date, little information has been synthesized on this topic. The aim of this scoping review was to examine the relationship between housing and welfare...

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...

This study aimed at assessing whether a reduction in stocking density (SKD) would mitigate lameness and positively affect the performance and health of Charolais bulls in an Italian commercial farm. Bulls were distributed in groups...

Leg problems are highly prevalent in modern broiler production and provision of environmental enrichment could be a strategy to improve leg health. Different types of environmental enrichment have undergone evaluation. Our objective was to conduct...

The assessment of personality in farm animals and its relation to other behavioural and physiological traits is of growing scientific and practical interest. Therefore, the aims of the present study were first to assess the...

Limited space in dairy cattle farming is associated with frequent encounters between cows, often resulting in agonistic interactions and injuries, especially in horned cows. Previous studies with dairy cows investigated space allowances in the waiting...

Cattle mother-offspring contact calls encode individual-identity information; however, it is unknown whether cattle are able to maintain individuality when vocalising to familiar conspecifics over other positively and negatively valenced farming contexts. Accordingly, we recorded 333...