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. 

In intense breeding programs, rabbits are exposed to numerous stress factors which could affect their welfare and health. It has been suggested that group housing is more comfortable for does and similar to the living...

Zebrafish is a valuable model for neuroscience research, but the housing conditions to which it is exposed daily may be impairing its welfare status. The use of environmental enrichment and the refinement of methodology for...

Early offspring separation from mothers causes social deprivation. Mouthbrooding, when eggs and fry are incubated in the buccal cavity of the parent, is one of the reproductive strategies in fish. The mother is the incubating...

Most dairy goat farms rear kids on ad libitum milk replacer; calf research suggests this improves growth and welfare, but solid feed intakes are problematic. Weaning can be gradual (incremental milk reduction) or abrupt (sudden...

Input of different spectral types of photoreceptors in amphibian colour vision has been assessed by studying the behaviour of male toads Bufo bufo and B. gargarizans in a laboratory. This method is based on the...

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...

Early-life adversity impacts on anxiety-related behaviors in adulthood. The effects of such adversity not only affect the animal itself, but can be passed on transgenerationally. Pervasive effects of experimentally-induced early-life stress (ELS) have been documented...

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...

Many wild animals perform hiding behaviours for a variety of reasons, such as evading predators or other conspecifics. Unlike their wild counterparts, farmed animals often live in relatively barren environments without the opportunity to hide...

The aim of this study was to determine if environmental colour affects the Zebrafrish (Danio rerio) performance metrics of survival, growth rates, fecundity, and fertility. This study created tanks of different colours (green, blue, and...

This article analyzes the physiological role of pain during parturition in domestic animals, discusses the controversies surrounding the use of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local analgesics as treatments during labor, and presents the...

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...

Wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) give birth in an underground nursery burrow where the kits are hermetically closed into the nest chamber for several weeks except for the three minutes of daily nursing. Given this...

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...

Maternal deprivation early in life has been shown to disrupt neonates’ development. Nevertheless, separating the young animals from their dams soon after birth remains a common practice in dairy farm husbandry. This study investigated the...

Weaning from milk is stressful. We aimed to investigate the effect of three weaning strategies on feed intake and behavior of dairy goat kids. Forty-five, 3-month-old Saanen cross goats were allocated to one of three...

Hamsters have historically been used in our pharmacokinetic (PK) studies using the retro-orbital (RO) bleeding technique to collect blood samples. If performed incorrectly, this technique has the potential for animal welfare complications not usually seen...

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...

Here we describe the behaviour of a female blonde capuchin (Sapajus flavius) towards her dead infant and discuss possible explanations linked to the anecdotal event. We conducted our study in a fragment of Atlantic forest...

Female lambs have a stronger attachment with their mothers and show a greater susceptibility to stressors than male lambs. Male lambs grow faster than female lambs do, achieving a greater nutritional independence from their mothers...

The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...

The weekend effect hypothesis proposes that captive primates are more likely to give birth during times of low disturbance and reduced staff activity. The hypothesis specifically predicts that laboratory‐housed primates will be more likely to...