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. 

Due to often insufficient information, reptiles suffer welfare issues and increased mortality in captivity. In particular, the impact of the social environment remains poorly understood, despite evidence suggesting its’ importance for welfare in a wide...

In most rabbit farms, breeding does kindle and nurse their kits in single-litter cages throughout their entire reproduction cycle. However, the protective behavior can lead to aggressive displays and injuries when the does are housed...

Endotracheal intubation in rabbits is challenging and supraglottic airway devices, such as laryngeal masks (LMA), represent an alternative as they are easy to insert, and do not stimulate the larynx requiring therefore a lighter plane...

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...

The objective of the study was to investigate the effects of housing (deep litter + concrete floor vs. deep litter + ground soil with the possibility to dig burrows), and genotype (Mecklenburg or Hyplus) on...

Improving captive conditions of pygmy slow lorises (Nekaris and Nijman have recently suggested that the pygmy slow loris should be called the pygmy loris and is distinctive enough to warrant a new genus, Xanthonycticebu) (Nycticebus...

Behavioral compatibility plays a critical role in shaping how potential mates interact with and evaluate each other and whether they choose to pursue a relationship. Compatibility is especially important for mate choice and relationship quality...

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a popular model organism in behavioral pharmacology research due to many genetic and neurological similarities with humans. As a social species, the presence (or absence) of conspecifics during housing and testing...

OBJECTIVE To test whether the use of low-dose epidural anesthesia (EA) in goats undergoing lower urinary tract surgery reduces the requirements of perioperative analgesics, contributes to intraoperative hypotension, and improves postoperative comfort during the first...

Social housing of laboratory rabbits is encouraged and thought to improve animal welfare due to the social nature of this species. However, there is limited published information comparing the physiologic and cardiovascular (CV) effects of...

This study investigated the social relationships observed within a captive breeding group of western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla at a European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) accredited facility: Blackpool Zoo, UK. Gorillas are...

Housing breeding female rabbits in multi-litter instead of single-litter cages allows for more natural behaviour and social contact with conspecifics. Hierarchy fights among does, however, inhibit uptake on farms. Past focus on high reproductive performances...

This article describes the enclosure, environmental parameters, feeding, enclosure dynamics, breeding, handling, identification, and enrichment for zoo-housed black tree monitors.

Here, we evaluated if visual barriers could reduce intraspecific agonism in an all-male group of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) living in a zoo. Crocodiles were monitored for nearly 100 h, and four “hotspots” of aggression...

Social animals commonly establish dominance relationships by means of aggressive interaction, leading to hierarchical stability and priority of access to limited resources by high-ranked individuals. In poikilothermic animals, temperature is a major abiotic factor influencing...

General anesthesia as used for rodent research can have adverse effects on physiologic mechanisms. Thermoregulation is often greatly inhibited, with resultant deleterious effects on cardiac and respiratory function. These potential effects can be mitigated by...

A fundamental understanding of behavior is essential to improving the welfare of billions of farm animals around the world. Despite living in an environment managed by humans, farm animals are still capable of making important...

Rabbits are frequently used as surgical models in research. However, studies assessing the effects of various hair removal methods on wound healing and surgical site infection (SSI) in rabbits are sparse. Here we evaluated the...

One concern of the Anthropocene is the effects of human activities on animal welfare, revealing the urgency to mitigate impacts of rearing environments. Body tactile stimulation (TS), like massage therapy, has emerged as an enrichment...

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a substance derived from Cannabis sativa, widely studied in medicine for controlling neural diseases in humans. Besides the positive effects on humans, it also presents anxiolytic proprieties and decreases aggressiveness and stress...

Social buffering of stress refers to the effect of a social partner in reducing the cortisol or corticosterone response to a stressor. It has been well studied in mammals, particularly those that form pair bonds...

Little is known about the social behavior of pygmy slow lorises, in particular, the social relationships of same‐sex individuals have rarely been investigated. The Slow Loris Conservation Center was built at the Japan Monkey Center...

Long-term, multi-institutional assessments have become a reliable tool for evaluating patterns of wounding in zoo-living primates, with results informing on best practices for species-specific care protocols and population management strategies. For western lowland gorillas (Gorilla...

The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...

In this case study, a housing system for rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was developed, complying with the new German Welfare Regulation, and evaluated on-farm with regard to the rabbits' behaviour during four fattening periods. The housing...