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. 

Reading another animal’s emotional state can enable receivers to anticipate their behavioural motivations, which is important in guiding interactions with that individual. For species living closely alongside humans, the emotional cues that we express can...

Mobile zoos are events in which non-domesticated (exotic) and domesticated species are transported to venues such as schools, hospitals, parties, and community centres, for the purposes of education, entertainment, or social and therapeutic assistance. We...

Visitors are a prominent feature in the lives of zoo animals, and their presence can cause a range of impacts on zoo animals (typically classed as positive, negative or neutral impacts), commonly referred to as...

The rabbit is a popular animal model for human biomechanical research involving surgery on the hind limb. Mortality is higher in rabbits when undergoing general anesthesia compared to dogs and cats. Moreover, due to their...

Disbudding induces intense pain-related behavioral and physiological responses in goat kids. Using only regional anesthesia may not be effective in ameliorating these responses. We determined the effect of xylazine-sedation with or without regional infiltration of...

Background: The objective of this study was to determine the threshold of the Bristol Rabbit Pain Scale (BRPS) indicating the need for intervention analgesia. Methods: Fourteen members of veterinary staff were recruited to rate rabbits...

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...

Zebrafish have become a popular biomedical model in recent decades, and are now maintained in laboratories worldwide. However, living within a captive environment can introduce novel environmental stressors and experiencing stress chronically can negatively affect...

A negative human-animal relationship (HAR) from the perspective of the animal is a limiting factor affecting farm animal welfare, as well as farm animal productivity. Research in farm animals has elucidated sequential relationships between stockperson...

In sea turtle rescue and rehabilitative medicine, many of the casualties suffer from occurrences that would be considered painful in other species; therefore, the use of analgesic drugs should be ethically mandatory to manage the...

There is consensus that the quality of the human–animal relationship (HAR) is relevant to guarantee appropriate levels of animal welfare. Given the impact that HAR may have on both goats and human beings, the aim...

Prevention of pain in rabbits is a priority for both welfare and validity of scientific data. We aimed to determine if the rabbit grimace scale (RbtGS) could be used as a viable, rapid assessment tool...

Field evidence indicates that livestock producers are motivated by access to products that readily deliver pain management during husbandry interventions and, more recently, viral epidermal infectious diseases, including FMD. There has been impressive adoption in...

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...

Preference testing has long been used in ethology and animal welfare science to assess the preferences that animals have for different resources and stimuli. The study conducted herein assessed the choice-making ability of five leopard...

Appropriate end-points are integral to the refinement of laboratory animal experiments. Our recent experience has highlighted that ambiguity around end-points is hampering their adoption in experiments that cause severe suffering to fish. In toxicology, the...

Recent research has uncovered many complex cognitive traits and affective processes in many reptile species, such as the ability to make choices that are rewarding or pleasurable. The investigation herein was initiated after many years...

Published data are sparse regarding the recognition of clinically relevant pain and appropriate analgesia in amphibians. The amphibian analgesia literature has primarily focused on nociceptive pathways in a single species, the northern leopard frog (Rana...

The effect visitors may have on the welfare of professionally managed animals is vital to consider. The present study utilized an experimental approach to examine how 360° visitor viewing access (i.e., viewing from all sides...

We investigated whether the welfare of domestic goats in an animal-visitor interaction experience at a zoo was affected by the presence and behavior of visitors. We considered how the number of visitors in the goats’...

Visitor presence has been shown to affect the behavior of animals in zoos. However, studies to date have not included a wide range of taxonomic groupings, and thus, the effect is poorly understood for many...

Positive stockperson attitudes to his or her animals is associated with a positive behavioural response in the animals and in other indicators assumed to reflect a high level of welfare as well as increased productivity...

Nowadays, most of the goat milk production in developed countries is done in intensive indoors production systems. In these systems, procedures such as disbudding are performed routinely. Disbudding is done in young goat kids and...

Much environmental enrichment for laboratory animals is intended to enhance animal welfare and normalcy by providing stimulation to reduce 'boredom'. Behavioural manifestations of boredom include restless sensation-seeking behaviours combined with indicators of sub-optimal arousal. Here...

Positive reinforcement training (PRT) is associated with increases in species-typical behavior and decreases in stereotypic and abnormal behavior in participating animals. Physiological changes following PRT, for example, increases in oxytocin (OXT) and/or decreases in cortisol...