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. 

The latest edition of the seminal reference on the care and management of laboratory and research animals. The newly revised ninth edition of The UFAW Handbook on the Care and Management of Laboratory and Other...

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...

When necessary, sea turtles are held captive for veterinarian care and research purposes. Protocols and basic guidelines have been described for husbandry of sea turtles with veterinarian needs but not considering physiological indicators of animal...

The complexity experienced in early life can affect trait development of individuals, including sociability and fearfulness. The modern dairy calf’s rearing environment often lacks environmental and social complexity. This study examined the effects of early-life...

Pair housing of pre-weaning dairy calves has previously demonstrated positive impacts on their growth, health and behaviour, but longer-term effects on production are still relatively unknown. This study followed a cohort of 431 Holstein heifers...

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...

This study aimed to determine the effects of early-life physical and social enrichment on the ability of dairy heifers to integrate into a herd of mature cows. Fifty heifer calves were reared from the ages...

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...

Recent advances in emotions and cognitive science make it imperative to assess the emotional stress in goats at the time of slaughter. The present study was envisaged to study the electroencephalogram and physiological responses as...

Halal and kosher slaughter have given the utmost importance to the sharpness of knives during the slaughter of animals. A sharp knife of appropriate dimension (blade length) makes slaughter less painful during neck severance and...

Social pair housing of calves has previously demonstrated positive impacts for calves, so this study aimed to compare the health and behaviour of calves kept in individual compared to pair housing on a single commercial...

Despite its popularity in research, there is very little scientifically validated knowledge about the best practices on zebrafish (Danio rerio) husbandry, which has led to several facilities having their own husbandry protocols. This study was...

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...

Domestic herbivores show a strong motivation to form associations with conspecifics and the social dynamics of any group is dependant on the individuals within the group. Thus, common farm management practices such mixing may cause...

Social buffering occurs when the presence of a partner mitigates the stress response of an individual. In two experiments, we assessed the effects of social buffering in dairy calves, with and without a known conspecific...

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...

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...

In experimental procedures inevitably leading to the sacrifice of animals, suitable measures should be taken to minimise their pain and suffering as much as possible, as well as to prevent any modification or masking in...

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 housing for dairy calves has a range of benefits for social development, yet there is limited understanding of how social bonds form early in life. We characterized effects of early life social contact on...

Housing unweaned calves individually in barren environments negatively affects their growth, cognitive ability, and adaptability to environmental changes in later life. Social housing has been shown to improve those aspects, whereas physical environmental enrichment has...

The present study examined the effects of age at group housing and age at incremental hay supplementation in calf starters from 7.5 to 15% (dry matter, DM) and their interaction on growth performance, behavior, health...

The exponential rise of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model organism in biomedical research has far outstripped our un- derstanding of basic husbandry and welfare for this species. As a case in point, here...