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. 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Facial thermography has enabled researchers to noninvasively and continuously measure the changes of a range of emotional states in humans. The present work used this novel technology to study the effect of positive and negative...

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...

Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...

The Critically Endangered mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) has undergone drastic population decline due to habitat loss, hunting, invasive species, and chytridiomycosis. In response, several partner institutions initiated a conservation breeding program. It is important...

For humans and for non-human primates heart rate is a reliable indicator of an individual’s current physiological state, with applications ranging from health checks to experimental studies of cognitive and emotional state. In humans, changes...

Body condition scoring (BCS) is a simple, rapid, noninvasive tool used to assess body condition in animals. In this study, we developed and validated a diagram-based BCS for adult zebrafish (Danio rerio), a popular research...

The ornamental fish trade is estimated to handle up to 1.5 billion fishes. Transportation and handling of fishes imposes a range of stressors that can result in mortality at rates of up to 73%. Given...

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...

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