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. 

Understanding the emotional states of animals is a long-standing research endeavour that has clear applications in animal welfare. Vocalisations are emerging as a promising way to assess both positive and negative emotional states. However, the...

This study examined the effects of acute restraint stress in the presence or absence of naltrexone on the circulating concentrations of insulin, glucose, Met-enkephalin and corticosterone in 14-week-old chickens [design: 2 sex × 2 stress/non-stress...

Vocalization seems to be a viable source of signal for assessing broiler welfare. However, it may require an understanding of the birds’ signals, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The delivery of calls with a specific set...

Animal testing was and remains the only method of introducing a certain treatment and medical procedure on humans. On the other hand, animals have their rights resulting from applicable legal acts, including Directive 2010/63/EU and...

To ensure the optimal living conditions of farm animals, it is essential to understand how their senses work and the way in which they perceive their environment. Most animals have a different hearing range compared...

Protecting animal welfare during preslaughter handling and slaughter is an important ethical concern with growing importance to consumers. However, animal welfare violations in abattoirs remain a serious problem, and the enforcement of relevant laws and...

Animal-borne tracking devices have generated a wealth of new knowledge, allowing us to better understand, manage and conserve species. Fitting such tracking devices requires that animals are captured and often chemically immobilized. Such procedures cause...

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...

The concentration of CO2 is relatively large in poultry farms and high accumulations of this gas reduce animal welfare. Good control of its concentration is crucial for the health of the animals. The vocalizations of...

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...

Vocalizations are used by group-living animals as aggressive and submissive signals during agonistic interactions, and are also used to maintain dominance hierarchies in many species. For gregarious strepsirrhines with large vocal repertoires and differentiated dominance...

Despite the widely used application of standardized capture-handling protocols to collect blood and assess the physiological stress response, the actual sampling design (e.g., timing and the number of blood samples) often differs between studies, and...

The assessment and understanding of Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Elimination (ADME) for new pharmaceuticals is required in regulatory submissions. Typically, ADME studies are conducted using metabolism cages designed for the single housing of animals to...

Wildlife research has been indispensable for increasing our insight into ecosystem functioning as well as for designing effective conservation measures under the currently high rates of biodiversity loss. Genetic and genomic analyses might be able...

For over a century, the practice of deflighting has taken place in zoological collections in order to ensure birds remain in open-topped enclosures. Over time, efforts have been made to improve or develop new (surgical)...

Research in ecology and wildlife biology remains crucial for increasing our knowledge and improving species management and conservation in the midst of the current biodiversity crisis. However, obtaining information on population status often involves invasive...

In animal studies on bone healing, the effect of housing space and physical activity are seldom taken into account. Bone formation was evaluated in New Zealand White rabbits (mean ± SEM BW: 3.9 ± 0.11...

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...

Institutions that conduct high-containment agricultural research involving domestic livestock represent a specialized category of programs that are accredited by AAALAC International. The accreditation process includes a comprehensive assessment of the overall program of animal care...

In this commentary, we discuss three replicability issues that are specifically relevant to research regarding farm animal welfare: (1) Legislative action, and its potential economic consequences, should derive from robust and replicable research to benefit...

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...

A thorough understanding of how animals fly is a central goal of many scientific disciplines. Birds are a commonly used model organism for flight research. The success of this model requires studying healthy and naturally...

The Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) recognizes that several forms of restraint, including physical and chemical, are necessary for the safe handling of nonhuman primates (NHPs). The following guidelines aim to provide information to researchers...

Elizabethan collars (E-collars) are commonly used in various species to safeguard healing wounds. However, E-collars inadvertently restrict the expression of normal species-typical behaviors, including coprophagy, self-grooming, and social housing. To maintain social housing in accordance...

In fiscal year 2016, agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats, and cattle represented 10% of the 820 812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife...