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. 

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...

In an attempt to develop more effective surgical implantation methods for fish, surgical incisions typical of those made for implanting micro-acoustic transmitters into the peritoneal cavity were evaluated on a weekly basis for healing progression...

Reliable methods for identifying rodents play an important role in ensuring the success of preclinical studies. However, animal identification remains a trivial laboratory routine that is not often discussed, despite the fact that more than...

Tagging salmon smolts to provide information about the timing of outmigration has been a common approach to monitor phenology and model the risk of encountering stressors. However, the validity of tagging has come under scrutiny...

Mice can be prone to skin lesions for various reasons. Green clay is a non-invvasive method to treat such skin lesions, and does not require veterinary approval or have properties that may interfere with an...

Debates around fishes’ ability to feel pain concern sentience: do reactions to tissue damage indicate evaluative consciousness (conscious affect), or mere nociception? Thanks to Braithwaite’s research leadership, and concerns that current practices could compromise welfare...

In aquatic ecology, studies have commonly employed a tagging technique known as visible implant elastomer (VIE). This method has not been widely adopted by the zebrafish research community and also lacks refinement with regard to...

Identification marking mice commonly involves ear-punching with or without anaesthetic, or tail-marking with ink. To identify which is most humane, we marked weanling male BALB/c mice using ear-punching (EP), ear-punching with anaesthetic EMLATM cream (EP+A)...

Tattooing traumatizes the skin, which can result in microbial infections with the severity ranging from minor to life-threating septicemia. Additionally, the metals in colored tattoo ink are known to cause dermal inflammation in some people...

Demarking individual animals within a group is often required in research. However, the process of invasive tagging induces stress and if a tag becomes detached it may wound the animal and/or prevent identification. Photo identification...

Ear tagging is perceived as less painful or stressful than tattooing and therefore is generally considered less harmful or costly to welfare. However, ear tags are more difficult to read than tattoos and can fall...

Social housing of laboratory rodents is recommended whenever possible to encourage natural behavior and social dynamics. Several identification methods are used to distinguish rodents from one another. One of the most common means of identifying...

A batch of 1 sea winter pre-spawning adult Salmo salar from the Bush river in Northern Ireland, U.K., were gastrically tagged with large (13-mm diameter) and small (9-mm diameter) dummy acoustic telemetry tags alongside untagged...

Adult return rates for wild Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts captured in a rotary screw trap and tagged with coded wire (CW) tags were compared with a control group, using detections from passive integrated transponder...

One commonly used method to preserve individual identity in the study of social behavior of zebrafish is through silicone-based visible implant elastomers (VIEs), which represent a safe and durable tagging procedure. While the effects of...

Toe clipping and ear clipping (also ear notching or ear punching) are frequently used methods for individual identification of laboratory rodents. These procedures potentially cause severe discomfort, which can reduce animal welfare and distort experimental...

Marmota monax is a valuable laboratory animal species used in studies of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), food intake, obesity, hibernation, and circannual cycles. This article describes the woodchuck’s (also known as groundhog) natural behavior and...

A dorsal-fin photo-identification technique paired with a non-invasive parallel laser photogrammetry technique was used to non-invasively identify individual Sphyrna mokarran over time. Based on the data collected over a duration of 59 days, 16 different...

Social housing is recommended where possible for laboratory mice. In order to achieve this, mice must be individually identifiable. Although, various methods are available, permanent identification is often required, such as ear notching. This method...

Educational institutions maintain group-housed mice of both sexes for training veterinarians and technicians in husbandry, medication, and sampling procedures. Mice kept in all-male groups may experience poor welfare due to fighting. Castrated mice may be...