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...

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...

The diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed under sedation or general anesthesia in bovines are numerous. The analgesic drugs that can be legally used are few, making perioperative analgesia challenging. (2) Methods: Calves were administered butorphanol...

A non-invasive method of drug delivery, intranasal atomization, has shown positive results in human medicine and in some animal species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of intranasal atomization, compared to...

Disbudding calves using hot iron cautery is a routine management procedure to destroy the germinal cells around the horn bud in calves. It is recommended that NSAIDs are used in conjunction with local anaesthesia to...

Research in human volunteers and surgical patients has shown that unconsciousness under general anesthesia can be reliably tracked using real-time electroencephalogram processing. Hence, a closed-loop anesthesia delivery (CLAD) system that maintains precisely specified levels of...

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effects of alfaxalone administered IM with or without buprenorphine or hydromorphone in healthy rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). ANIMALS 24 male rabbits undergoing elective orchiectomy between August 21, 2021, and November 6, 2021...

Calves are frequently disbudded to reduce the number of injuries due to horns to other animals and farm workers. The most commonly used method is thermal disbudding which is increasingly causing animal welfare concerns (Stafford...

Most dairy calves are housed individually in early ontogeny but social housing has positive effects on calf welfare including an advantage of social buffering, i.e., when negative effects of stress are mitigated through social support...

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...

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”)...

Environmental condition, such as environmental complexity or stocking density, can directly or indirectly influence animal emotion and ultimately, affective state. Affective states of animals can be assessed through judgement bias tests, evaluating responses to ambiguous...

OBJECTIVE To compare the cardiorespiratory effects, quality and duration of sedation of 2 subcutaneous sedation protocols for noninvasive procedures in guinea pigs (GPs). ANIMALS 24 pet GPs (15 females, 9 males) of 3 different age...

Background: The efficacy of procaine as anaesthetic for disbudding of calves is largely unknown. Likewise, information about effect of interval from local anaesthesia to disbudding and the size of the hot iron used is missing...

Bovine castration can be performed surgically, chemically, or immunologically and the method used can influence animal welfare. The use of facial expressions is an efficient tool to quantify pain, but there has been limited study...

Tri-Solfen® is a combination topical anaesthetic and antiseptic solution containing lidocaine, bupivacaine, adrenaline and cetrimide. Applied to wounds, it is reported to reduce the pain experienced by calves following thermocautery disbudding. While lidocaine and bupivacaine...

Disbudding of calves is a common, painful intervention. Due to cytotoxic and anesthetic properties, the injection of clove oil or its component isoeugenol may be less detrimental to animal welfare. We investigated mechanical nociceptive threshold...

The evaluation and assessment of the level of pain calves are experiencing is important, as the experience of pain (e.g., due to routine husbandry procedures) severely affects the welfare of calves. Studies about the recognition...

Castration is a common management procedure employed in North American cattle production and is known to cause a pain response. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of unmitigated surgical castration on the...

Pain causes behavioral, autonomic, and neuroendocrine changes and is a common cause of animal welfare compromise in farm animals. Current societal and ethical concerns demand better agricultural practices and improved welfare for food animals. These...

Dehorning causes pain and distress to cattle, and there is a need to provide effective and practical analgesia to improve animal welfare. We conducted an experiment to determine the effect of a modified post-operative topical...

Hot-iron disbudding, a routine procedure that prevents horn bud growth through cauterization, is painful for calves. The resulting burns remain sensitive to touch for weeks, but it is unknown whether calves experience ongoing, non-evoked pain...

Gastrointestinal stasis is a common perianaesthetic complication in rabbits. The objective of this study was to assess the impact on gastrointestinal transit time of ketamine–midazolam (KMZ) versus ketamine–medetomidine (later antagonised by atipamezole) (KMT-A) in rabbits...