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...

High stocking density is used in aquaculture to optimize farming. However, such strategies can stress territorial fish by increasing aggression, thus harming the fish welfare and productive performance. Here, we tested the effect of long-term...

This study presents the first successful capture using GPS tagging of a jaguar (Panthera onca) using a minimally invasive capture system (MICS). We used snare-foot traps and a MICS during two capture campaigns in a...

As a multidisciplinary field, laboratory animal science promotes or accelerates the emergence of innovative ideas and products. As research has increased, so has the demand for laboratory animals with reliable, standardized characteristics. Thus, the breeding...

Maintaining compliance with cage density recommendations in The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals precludes continuous trio breeding in standard-sized mouse cages. This study evaluated and compared several parameters of reproductive performance...

Animal-borne tracking devices have generated a wealth of new knowledge, allowing us to better understand, manage and conserve species. Fitting such tracking devices requires that animals are captured and often chemically immobilized. Such procedures cause...

There is increasing evidence that, compared to non-aversive handling methods (i.e., tunnel and cupping), tail handling has a negative impact on mouse welfare. Despite this evidence, there are still research organisations that continue to use...

The use of head fixation in mice is increasingly common in research, its use having initially been restricted to the field of sensory neuroscience. Head restraint has often been combined with fluid control, rather than...

Laboratory rodents spend the entire day housed in standard cages that provide a restricted area for movements and might, therefore, limit physical activity. However, it has not been tested in immature rodents of ages ranging...

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...

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”)...

Mouse handling and restraint affect behavior, physiology, and animal welfare, yet little information is available on how various mouse restraint methods affect cardiovascular parameters. We validated the use of a smartphone-based ECG sys- tem in...

Gentle human-animal interactions can induce positive emotions in cattle and enhance their welfare. We investigated whether a change in the animals’ perceived control over the situation influences their perception of the interactions. We compared the...

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...

Background: Animal models used to study pathologies requiring rehabilitation therapy, such as cardiovascular and neurologic disorders or oncologic disease, must be as refined and translationally relevant as possible. Sometimes, however, experimental procedures such as those...

At the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC), we routinely teach novice research personnel how to appropriately handle, restrain, and perform basic experimental techniques on rats. Barriers to teaching include fear of animal bites...

Research in ecology and wildlife biology remains crucial for increasing our knowledge and improving species management and conservation in the midst of the current biodiversity crisis. However, obtaining information on population status often involves invasive...

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 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...

Adult mice emit many ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) during social interaction tasks, but only a few studies have yet reported USVs in stressed adult mice. Our aim was to study which experimental conditions favor USV emission...

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...

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...

Most would agree that animals in research should be spared “unnecessary” harm, pain, or distress, and there is also growing interest in providing animals with some form of environmental enrichment. But is this the standard...

We studied how space allowance affects measures of animal welfare in mice by systematically varying group size and cage type across three levels each in both males and females of two strains of mice (C57BL/6ByJ...