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. 

Assessing how cats cope with the housing and husbandry at shelters is an important part of maintaining good animal welfare. There are non-invasive methods to assess how cats cope with their environment. The aim of...

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...

This study aimed to evaluate the agreement and reliability of the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS) among cat owners, veterinarians, veterinary students and nurses/technicians. Raters (n = 5/group) scored 100 images using the FGS (ear position, orbital tightening...

Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (SONFH) is a condition documented in humans and animals exposed to chronic steroid administration. The rabbit has become a preferred animal model for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of...

Reading books to shelter animals combining auditory enrichment with human presence is increasingly used although its effects on animal welfare have not yet been investigated. This study compared the behaviour of single-housed shelter dogs and...

Domestic animals often seek and enjoy interacting with humans. Positive human–animal relationships can elicit positive emotions and other positive welfare outcomes. Nevertheless, our understanding of the underlying processes that govern the positive perception of humans...

Pet rabbit welfare is a hidden crisis: Inappropriately housed, fed, and not routinely provided healthcare—rabbits can often suffer painful conditions and shortened lifespans. This study provides novel understanding of owners’ perceptions of rabbits’ mental capabilities...

Although the domestic cat (Felis catus) is probably the most widespread companion animal in the world and interacts in a complex and multifaceted way with humans, the human–cat relationship and reciprocal communication have received far...

As pets are considered members of the family, their health has received widespread attention. Since pets cannot talk and complain when they feel uncomfortable, monitoring vital signs becomes very helpful in disease detection, as well...

Recent studies demonstrated that cats form social bonds with both conspecifics and humans. One of the key factors regulating social interactions is the transfer of emotions between the individuals. The present study aimed at investigating...

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...

Gentling of cats in a shelter has been shown to increase contented behaviors and reduce anxiety, but it is not clear how gentling should be provided. Two experiments were conducted in cats confined to cages...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

At any moment, there are millions of cats housed in foster care facilities for abandoned and stray animals for various reasons worldwide. Care, management and regulation among these facilities differ. Moreover, shelters can never substitute...

Domestic animals are sensitive to human cues that facilitate inter-specific communication, including cues to emotional state. The eyes are important in signalling emotions, with the act of narrowing the eyes appearing to be associated with...

Temperament can be defined as interindividual differences in behavior that are stable over time and in different contexts. The terms ‘personality’, ‘coping styles’, and ‘behavioral syndromes’ have also been used to describe these interindividual differences...

Pain management in rabbits can be difficult because they are adept at hiding pain and can be stressed by handling and restraint for injection. The use of opioid analgesics with prolonged durations of activity could...

We argue that there is currently an under-reporting of the ways in which pain can be associated with problem behavior, which is seriously limiting the recognition of this welfare problem. A review of the caseloads...

Nociceptive threshold (NT) testing is widely used for the study of pain and its alleviation. The end point is a normal behavioural response, which may be affected by restraint or unfamiliar surroundings, leading to erroneous...

Calvarial bone surgery on rabbits is frequently performed. This report aims to document a simple and practical anaesthetic and perioperative management for this procedure. Fourteen male New Zealand white rabbits were included in the study...

The behavioural assessment of individual animals in stressful situations should consider measures which are consistent across repeated testing, and therefore truly representative of an individual's behaviour. Here we report a study conducted on 40 neutered...

Our objective was to identify and characterize the types of vocalization other than meowing (VOM) in two contexts, a pleasant and an aversive situation, and to study the effect of the sex of the animal...

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...

Not all animals behave identically when faced with the same situation. These individual differences in the expression of their behavior could be due to many factors, including medical conditions. These medical problems can change behavior...

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