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 that include earlier publications) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions that include earlier publications) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Cognitive bias is defined as the influence of emotions on cognitive processes. The concept of the cognitive judgement bias has its origins in human psychology but has been applied to animals over the past 2...

This volume reviews the broad topic of welfare in nonhuman primates under human care. Chapters detail the history of primates in captivity, ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of nonhuman primates as entertainment or...

Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques have emerged as a cost-effective and non-invasive strategy for monitoring the distribution of endangered aquatic species. Despite their numerous advantages, operational uncertainty at each step of the process represents a significant...

New Zealand White rabbits are commonly used for polyclonal antibody production, which can require collecting no more than 10% of total body weight every two weeks (approximately 20 ml of blood for a 4 kg...

Animal welfare is important for the humane treatment of animals under our care. Zoos and rescue centres manage various charismatic animals, such as big cats, with limited resources. It is therefore essential for caretakers to...

Ecological studies on the critically endangered European eel Anguilla anguilla often incorporate stable isotope analysis that typically uses dorsal muscle sampled from euthanised eels. To minimise the lethal sampling of imperilled populations, fin tissue and/or...

In the last decades, wildlife diseases and the health status of animal populations have gained increasing attention from the scientific community as part of a One Health framework. Furthermore, the need for non-invasive sampling methods...

Chronic stress is a major source of welfare problems in many captive populations, including fishes. While we have long known that chronic stress effects arise from maladaptive expression of acute stress response pathways, predicting where...

The ocean sunfish (mola; Mola mola) is the heaviest bony fish in the world. This slow-moving fish often is injured by fishing boats that use drift gillnets attributing to its listing as Vulnerable by the...

Welfare is an individual attribute. In general, providing captive nonhuman animals with conditions conducive to good welfare is an idea more easily applied when dealing with few individuals. However, this becomes much harder—if not impossible—under...

The study of human–animal interactions has provided insights into the welfare of many species. To date, however, research has largely focused on human relationships with captive mammals, with relatively little exploration of interactions between humans...

In a 2018 AALAS webinar on Sheep and Goat Analgesia, Dr. Susie Vogel, a small ruminant expert, introduced the concept of getting sheep and goats to willingly take medication by putting it in a tasty...

During the development of potential new medicines or agrochemicals, an assessment of the safety profile to humans and environmental species is conducted using a range of different in silico and in vitro techniques in conjunction...

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...

Blood sampling through the caudal vasculature is a widely used technique in fish biology for investigating organismal health and physiology. In live fishes, it can provide a quick, easy and relatively non‐invasive method for obtaining...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...

The Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) recognizes that CSF collection may be required for both clinical and research purposes in nonhuman primates (NHP). Because there are inherent risks associated with the technique, the laboratory animal...

Stable isotope analysis (SIA) was used to examine the isotopic relationships between dorsal muscle and fin, scale and epidermal mucus in pike Esox lucius. δ13C and δ15N varied predictably within each tissue pairing, with conversion...

Individual variation in behaviour has been shown to have important ecological and evolutionary consequences. Research on animal personality has therefore received considerable attention, yet some methodological issues remain unresolved. We tested whether assessing personality by...

Individual responses, particularly based on personality, can have important consequences for individual fitness, based upon success in exploring new habitats, feeding on novel foods, and aggressiveness in competitive interactions. We conducted laboratory experiments to analyze...

Pectoral fin healing in fin spines and rays were examined in juvenile Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus following three different sampling techniques (n = 8-9 fish per treatment): entire leading fin spine removed, a 1-2...

The ability to quickly and accurately determine cortisol as a biomarker for stress is a valuable tool in assessing the wellbeing of NHP. In this study, 2 methods of collecting saliva (a commercial collection device...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 1 November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh and was attended by 70 delegates. Presentation topics included refinements in blood sampling rodents...

Animal personalities are ubiquitous across the animal kingdom and have been shown both to influence individual behaviour in the social context and to be affected by it. However, little attention has been paid to possible...