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. 

Being social animals, rats exhibit a range of social behaviors that help them build social bonds and maintain group cohesion. Behavior is influenced by multiple factors, including stress exposure, and the expression of the impact...

The low replicability of scientific studies has become an important issue. One possible cause is low representativeness of the experimental design employed. Already in the 1950’s, Egon Brunswick pointed out that experimental setups ideally should...

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...

Social play is a dynamic and rewarding behavior abundantly expressed by most mammals during the juvenile period. While its exact function is debated, various rodent studies on the effects of juvenile social isolation suggest that...

Locomotion in non-human primates, including walking, climbing, and brachiating among other types of movement (but not pacing), is a species-typical behavior that varies with age, social housing conditions, and environmental factors (e.g., season, food availability...

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...

Thermal stress causes severe effects on the wellbeing and reproduction of cattle, including changes in oogenesis and spermatogenesis, generating great concerns, which last for decades. In cattle, the occurrence of thermal stress is associated with...

In dairy systems with Zebu breeds, calves are not immediately separated from their dams after calving; consequently, maternal care and protective behavior are important, influencing both productive performance and stockpeople’s safety. Our objectives were to...

Adequate pain management is essential for ethical and scientific reasons in animal experiments and should completely cover the period of expected pain without the need for frequent re-application. However, current depot formulations of Buprenorphine are...

Sleep is an important aspect of great ape life; these animals build sleeping platforms every night. In a community of chimpanzees, each subgroup selects a sleeping site where each individual builds a sleeping platform, mostly...

Given the increasing obligation to elevate animal welfare beyond minimum expectations, zoos need robust mechanisms to monitor physical activity and species-appropriate behaviours. This is not without challenge as animal behaviour can vary seasonally or be...

The main conditions and diseases considered painful in dairy cows are mastitis, lameness, calving (including dystocia and caesarean section) and metritis. The cattle literature reports that deviation from normal daily activity patterns (both increased and/or...

In sea turtle rescue and rehabilitative medicine, many of the casualties suffer from occurrences that would be considered painful in other species; therefore, the use of analgesic drugs should be ethically mandatory to manage the...

Body size and individual development significantly affect positional behavior and substrate use. However, only a few studies have been conducted on immature wild macaques. We studied wild Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) inhabiting Mt. Huangshan, China...

Surveys provide a low-cost means to obtain large amounts of data that are ideal for conducting exploratory research, and they are becoming an increasingly valuable tool in a veterinary context. We investigated whether surveys of...

Medications often require studies performed in sexually mature cynomolgus macaques. At this time, there are few options available to confirm sexual maturity in male macaques. Electroejaculation and collection of seminal fluid are invasive and require...

This article will help those who are new to working with non-human primates. Interpreting macaque facial expressions and body behavior is important for beginning the process of pair housing two animals.

It is common to observe play in dogs, cats, and birds, but have we been ignoring play in one of the most common house pets of all… fish? Aquarium fish are often used as meditative...

Research primates may undergo surgical procedures making effective pain management essential to ensure good animal welfare and unbiased scientific data. Adequate pain mitigation is dependent on whether veterinarians, technicians, researchers, and caregivers can recognize and...

Field evidence indicates that livestock producers are motivated by access to products that readily deliver pain management during husbandry interventions and, more recently, viral epidermal infectious diseases, including FMD. There has been impressive adoption in...

We assessed effects of two-step debonding strategies in calf rearing systems with different types of prolonged cow-calf contact (CCC) on stress responses, health and performance of dairy cows and calves. Forty-eight Holstein Friesian cow-calf pairs...

Yearly, 2500–4000 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) bulls are castrated in Finland, mostly without pain alleviation. No previous research exists concerning pain-related behaviours during castration in reindeer. Our aims were to investigate the effects of Burdizzo...

The present review provides a compilation of the published data on the ecology and social behaviour of Mongolian gerbils. Behavioural observations in the wild show that the Mongolian gerbil is a diurnal social rodent living...

Buprenorphine is commonly used to control postoperative pain in rodents. Short-acting formulations of buprenorphine (bup-HCl) require frequent handling and restraint of animals for appropriate dosing, which can be stressful and confound research outcomes. Ethiqa XR...

Sociocultural changes in the human–animal relationship have led to increasing demands for animal welfare in biomedical research. The 3R concept is the basis for bringing this demand into practice: Replace animal experiments with alternatives where...

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