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...

An uncontrolled reproduction of animals in human hands should be avoided. To meet this goal, animals are widely castrated, i.e., the gonads are completely removed. Since the gonads are the most important source of sex...

Rhythmic neural activity, which coordinates brain regions and neurons to achieve multiple brain functions, is impaired in many diseases. Despite the therapeutic potential of driving brain rhythms, methods to noninvasively target deep brain regions are...

Urban free-roaming cats create concern about their impacts on wildlife and human health, leading to the use of trap–adopt–kill methods to manage these populations. This method is ineffective at decreasing the free-roaming cat population and...

We argue that pain is not needed to protect the body from damage unless the organism is able to make free choices in action selection. Then pain (including its affective and evaluative aspects) provides a...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 29 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and share experiences of...

Neophobia, the fear of novelty, is an ecologically important response which enables animals to avoid potentially harmful situations. Neophobia is a cognitive process by which individuals distinguish novelty from familiarity. In this study, we aimed...

Animal welfare assessments have struggled to investigate the emotional states of animals while focusing solely on available empirical evidence. Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) may provide insights into an animal’s subjective experiences without compromising scientific rigor...

Species-specific welfare indicators are important in promoting positive welfare for zoo animals. Reptiles are a notoriously understudied group in regards to behavior, welfare needs, and husbandry requirements. Using opportunistically obtained samples, we evaluated how blood...

Members of the North American 3Rs Collaborative (NA3RsC) refinement initiative have chosen to summarize developments in five hot topics of interest: 1. Tips for welfare-friendly transport, chairing, and restraint; 2. Guidance on refining food and...

Vocalization may transmit information from the emitting animal, including information about his or her emotional state. This study aimed to compare the vocal and the behavioral responses of domestic cats during an aversive and a...

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...

In humans, contrasting emotional states can lead to a broadening or narrowing of attentional scope. Whether this is also the case in animals has yet to be investigated. If confirmed, measurement of attentional scope has...

Burns cause many significant changes in metabolism and inflammatory reactions, leading to poor regeneration in animals and humans. A list of medicines to treat burns is available in the market. But due to the high...

Debates around fishes’ ability to feel pain concern sentience: do reactions to tissue damage indicate evaluative consciousness (conscious affect), or mere nociception? Thanks to Braithwaite’s research leadership, and concerns that current practices could compromise welfare...

Long-term relationships are essential for the psychological wellbeing of humans and many animals. Positive emotions and affective experiences (e.g., romantic or platonic love) seem to be closely related to the creation and maintenance of social...

Vocal emissions in non-human mammals can be used as non-invasive indicators of animal emotion and welfare. Therefore, we aimed to validate the use of acoustic parameters as indicators of affective states and welfare in farmed...

"Zoo animals" as a population are a diverse array of species from all around the globe. When managed in captivity, it is important that key aspects of natural ecology are factored into animal care, as...

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...

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...

Dogs and cats have been extensively studied of late in relation to their paw preferences, with both species showing preferential motor bias at the level of the individual. Over the years, a wide range of...

Although triplet litters are increasing in captive colonies of common marmosets, parents can rarely rear more than two infants without human intervention. There is however much evidence that early life experience, including separation from the...

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...

Contraception is an important population control method for the colony management of primates housed in captivity. Etonogestrel (ENG) implants (i.e., Implanon®) are a widely used progestin-based contraceptive in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) with the theoretical...

Melengestrol acetate (MGA) implants are progestin-based reversible contraceptives used to manage fertility in zoo populations. Although it is recommended that MGA implants should be replaced every 2 years, the duration of efficacy has not been...