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. 

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...

While non-human primate studies have long been conducted in laboratories, and more recently at zoological parks, sanctuaries are increasingly considered a viable setting for research. Accredited sanctuaries in non-range countries house thousands of primates formerly...

Deflighting zoo birds is a practice that receives increasing criticism due to its presumed incompatibility with animal welfare. To our knowledge, this is the first approach to address this problem in a scientific way. To...

The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...

The white-crowned pigeon, Patagioenas leucocephala, is a species of bird not often used in research. This may be related to its anxiety during normal human interactions, such as with cage changing. Our institution acquired a...

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...

The standard method of obtaining body temperature in a bird can be a stressful event, making routine evaluations challenging. Twenty-eight privately owned birds in good health were enrolled in the study to compare digital and...

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...

One of the goals of environmental enrichment is to encourage species-typical behaviors, while discouraging abnormal behaviors or stereotypies. Assessing the effectiveness of various enrichment modalities can be challenging, particularly for prey species such as rabbits...

This article describes the authors’ experience with the housing, social housing, husbandry, handling, and environmental enrichment of chinchillas in laboratories.

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...

The aim of the present study was to develop and evaluate a new housing system for fattening rabbits. Data were collected on a farm with rabbits housed either under new conditions (NC) or established (conventional)...

We evaluated the effects of two types of colony cages, in which rabbit does were always in a group (C1), and where they were in combi cages furnished with removable internal walls to allow both...

In Germany, an animal welfare ordinance for the housing of rabbits was issued which did not take into account the current investigations on floor design. The aim of the investigations was to study the effects...

Cage housing of growing rabbits is associated with welfare concerns. An alternative system that has already been introduced involves pens with non-wire floors. An important aspect of group pens, for which the best solution has...

For humans and for non-human primates heart rate is a reliable indicator of an individual’s current physiological state, with applications ranging from health checks to experimental studies of cognitive and emotional state. In humans, changes...

A three-week enrichment preference study trialling different substrates, food and pen structures was carried out in three, group-housed female New Zealand White Rabbits (NZW). Preference results: structural - rabbits spent the most time with a...

When singly or pair housed in cages, pigeons have a relatively small area in which to walk and stretch or flap their wings. More space is required to allow pigeons to be housed in numbers...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...

The aim of this work was to study how the group size and the number of doorways in a pen may influence the aggressive interactions throughout the reproductive cycle among does kept in a part-time...

Although the number of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) produced in Europe is important, they are under-represented in welfare research. Studies on the effects of housing conditions have focused on performance and mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis...

Rabbits are gregarious animals that live in social groups in the wild so individually housing our animals, while meeting the present scientific objectives, restricts their natural social behaviour. How to meet the social needs of...

Fecal corticosterone concentration (FCC) was measured in 14 buck rabbits individually housed in standard-dimension cages (SC) or in bigger cages (BC; with a volume more than double that of SC and equipped with a plastic...

This poster is based on welfare improvements gained from group housing rabbits in floor pens in the new Antibody Production Facility with a focus on development, behaviours and environmental enrichment in both male and female...

Monkeys first arrived in the Comparative Biology Centre (CBC) at Newcastle University in 2000. They were housed in three small separate units consisting of steel and wooden cages. In 2011 a decision was made to...

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