Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

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 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. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Welfare in animal husbandry includes considerations of biology, ethics, ecology, law and economics. These diverse aspects must be translated into common quantifiable parameters and applicable methods to objectively assess welfare in animals. To assist this...

Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (SONFH) is a condition documented in humans and animals exposed to chronic steroid administration. The rabbit has become a preferred animal model for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of...

Humans interact with fishes in many contexts including aquaculture, scientific study and companion animals. In all of these contexts, fish welfare can be compromised through anthropogenic means. Concern for fish welfare has grown considerably in...

In aquaculture, fish are exposed to unavoidable stressors that can be detrimental for their health and welfare. However, welfare in farmed fish can be difficult to assess, and, so far, no standardized test has been...

Fish models are essential for research in many biological and medical disciplines. With a typical lifespan of only 6 months, the turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) was recently established as a time- and cost-efficient model to...

Rabbits are the third species in terms of number of animals reared for meat production in the world. However, in comparison to other species, very few studies have focused on their welfare. The aim of...

Modern day zoos and aquariums continuously assess the welfare of their animals and use evidence to make informed management decisions. Historically, many of the indicators of animal welfare used to assess the collection are negative...

European sea bass is a marine teleost which can inhabit a broad range of environmental salinities. So far, no research has studied the physiological response of this fish to salinity challenges using modifications in skin...

The aim of this study was to develop and test a tilapia on-farm welfare assessment protocol, based on Brazilian semi-intensive production systems. The study included two mains steps: the elaboration of tilapia welfare protocol and...

Hormonal changes such as increased cortisol level in blood plasma in response to stress and social environmental stimuli are common among vertebrates including humans and typically accompanied by other physiological processes, such as changes in...

The measurement of pain in animals is surprisingly complex, and remains a critical issue in veterinary care and biomedical research. Based on the known utility of pain measurement via facial expression in verbal and especially...

Laboratory animals need to be monitored to check the status of their health and welfare. Routine checks of laboratory fish are limited to visual observations of physical appearance and behaviour, but for species held in...

Recent scientific evidence for fish sentience has stressed the need for novel sentience-based detection tools of fish welfare impairment in commercial farms. In order to mimic a well-characterised stress situation, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were...

Activity budget comparisons between groups or individuals in the wild and those in captivity are commonly used to determine the range of wild-type behaviors that nonhuman animals in captivity perform. These comparisons are conducted with...

This open access book is a printed edition of the Special Issue on Welfare of Cultured and Experimental Fishes that was published in the journal Fishes. The PDF is free for download.

Traditional animal welfare paradigms have focused on maintaining physical health and mitigating negative impacts to wellbeing. Recently, however, the field has increasingly recognized the importance of positive welfare (i.e., mental and physical states that exceed...

Fish welfare is an essential issue that needs to be tackled by the aquaculture industry. In order to address it, studies have been limited to a small number of species and the information is generally...

Cortisol levels in fish skin mucus have shown to be good stress indicators in farm fish exposed to different stressors. Its applicability in free-ranging animals subject to long-term environmental stressors though remains to be explored...

Fish welfare is still a relatively new field. As such, regulations and protocols to ensure fish welfare are currently limited and vary considerably in different jurisdictions. This is in part because of the ongoing controversy...

The genetic and biological similarity between non-human primates and humans has ensured the continued use of primates in biomedical research where other species cannot be used. Health-monitoring programmes for non-human primates provide an approach to...

Fish are used in a variety of experimental contexts often in high numbers. To maintain their welfare and ensure valid results during invasive procedures it is vital that we can detect subtle changes in behaviour...

Adopting a social science perspective and qualitative methodology on the problem of laboratory fish welfare, this paper examines some underlying social factors and drivers that influence thinking, priorities and implementation of fish welfare initiatives and...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

In the expanding salmon industry, many farmers use production methods that could result in poor welfare of the fish at various points of their lifecycle. We have reviewed methods used for producing salmon for food...

Recent empirical studies have reported evidence that many aquatic species, including fish, cephalopods and crustaceans, have the capacity for nociception and pain, and that their welfare should be taken into consideration. Some sceptics, rejecting the...

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