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. 

Unfulfilled exploratory behavior in pigs has been linked to tail biting, which causes reduced performance and welfare. Provision of straw can reduce tail biting, but large straw rations can cause poor hygiene in pens. This...

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...

In commercial pig production, stressful events are common and can have detrimental impacts on the pig's health and welfare, as well as on the performance of the farm. Supplementary magnesium may reduce stress, and subsequent...

Husbandry procedures and facility settings, such as low-frequency fire alarms, can produce noises in a laboratory environment that cause stress to animals used in research. However, most of the data demonstrating harmful effects that have...

Although nesting material is beneficial to the welfare of laboratory mice, provision of appropriate amounts may impair visualization of the mice. In anticipation of our academic research institution transitioning to providing 6 grams of nesting...

The combination of bedding substrate and nesting material within the microenvironment of mice is an important consideration for animal care programs in regard to optimizing animal wellbeing. We used 3 general or breeding mouse colonies...

Ammonia control is an important characteristic of rodent bedding materials. Among natural bedding materials, corncob bedding provides excellent ammonia control but contains estrogenic compounds and is ingested by mice. By comparison, processed cellulose bedding products...

Whether you are an animal care/husbandry technician, facility manager, or veterinarian, everyone bemoans a leaky drinking valve (often referred to as a lixit). Leaking drinking valves and flooded cages are a fairly common problem when...

Piglets weaned under commercial systems are greatly stressed by maternal separation, abrupt changes in the diet and mixing of litters. Intensive agonistic interactions exacerbate this challenge for piglets. We investigated effects of older conspecific presence...

Monitoring the vocalizations produced by livestock in commercial facilities can be used to remotely assess the arousal, and perhaps welfare, of the animals. Domestic swine is an ideal candidate for this type of assessment as...

The importance of social stability and its influence on the expression of the social behaviour repertoire in domestic animals remains poorly understood, especially for affiliative behaviours and other putative socio-positive behaviours such as social play...

This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...

The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...

Alcohols are commonly used in laboratory animal facilities to disinfect hands, equipment and laboratory environments. The effect on mice is unknown, so we observed male and female C57BL/6J and BALB/c mice during and after handling...

Thanks to its small size, external fertilization and fecundity, over the past four decades, zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become the dominant fish model species in biological and biomedical research. Multiple lines of evidence, however, suggest...

Vertebrates possess circadian clocks, driven by transcriptional–translational loops of clock genes, to orchestrate anticipatory physiological adaptations to cyclic environmental changes. This work aims to investigate how the absence of a light-dark cycle and a feeding...

The aim of this study was to investigate herd cortisol levels as an indicator of stress during gestation in three different feeding systems. Twelve commercial Danish herds with 800 to 3050 sows were included, with...

This study examines effects of opening hinged farrowing crates 4 or 7 days post-farrowing. Sows (n = 696) allocated to 3 treatments: PC—crate closed, T4—crate opened day 4, and T7—crate opened day 7 were assessed...

Ensuring optimal housing conditions for laboratory animals is a crucial prerequisite for high-quality and ethically justifiable in vivo science. In addition to guaranteeing animal welfare and promoting scientific validity, environmental sustainability is also increasingly gaining...

Housing pigs within their thermal comfort zone positively impacts productivity and performance. However, fundamental information on behavioral thermoregulatory responses of individual and group-housed pigs is meager. As a gregarious species, pigs prefer to be near...

Farrowing stalls are used in the United States swine industry to reduce pre-weaning piglet mortality, enable efficient individual animal management, and decrease facility construction and operating costs. The quantity and quality of space provided for...

Despite being phased out in the EU, several states in the USA and other select countries such as Australia, gestation stalls remains a common sow housing system worldwide. In Canada, the 2014 Code of Practice...

Social animals tend to possess an elaborate vocal communication repertoire, and rats are no exception. Rats utilize ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) to communicate information about a wide range of socially relevant cues, as well as information...

Much of the research done on aging, oxidative stress, anxiety, and cognitive and social behavior in rodents has focused on caloric restriction (CR). This often involves several days of single housing, which can cause numerous...

Little research has been conducted to examine the influence of various methods of providing nest materials—such as dispersing them, providing them as single units, or clustering them—on the behavior and welfare of group-housed mice. In...

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