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. 

This volume reviews the broad topic of welfare in nonhuman primates under human care. Chapters detail the history of primates in captivity, ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of nonhuman primates as entertainment or...

A non-invasive method of drug delivery, intranasal atomization, has shown positive results in human medicine and in some animal species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of intranasal atomization, compared to...

Bits used for cart horses in Senegal are typically made of recovered construction iron and often have defects related to design, shape, fit and metal quality. Consequently, there is widespread presence of bit-related oral injury...

The specialized functions of each hemisphere of the vertebrate brain are summarized together with the current evidence of lateralized behavior in farm and companion animals, as shown by the eye or ear used to attend...

Horses and donkeys are used for agriculture, leisure, urban services and therapy. Although these two species obviously behave differently, it is important to measure their behavioural specificity when tested in the same situations and to...

Vaccinations via intramuscular injection are a key component of preventative health care in horses. Development of problematic behavioral aversion to injections is quite common. Our clinical impression has been that topical anesthetic applied to injection...

Recent years have witnessed major advances in the ability of computerized systems to track the positions of animals as they move through large and unconstrained environments. These systems have so far been a great boon...

Refinement is one of the ethical pillars of the use of animals in research. Ultrasonography is currently used in human medicine as a surgical tool for guided biopsies and this idea can be applied to...

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...

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...

Examining the literature suggests equine personality is of interest to behavior and welfare scientists and those involved in the equine industry. Study and assessment of personality is critical because of the profound implications certain traits...

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 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...

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...

The aim of this study was to conduct a series of paper-based exercises in order to assess the negative (adverse) welfare impacts, if any, of common interventions on domestic horses across a broad range of...

Repeated injections in rats and mice are typically done via the tail vein. For hamsters, the tail is not an option. In this paper we explore the development and refinement of IV dosing in the...

Horse handlers often encounter problem behaviour resulting from a lack of stimulus control. Handlers are often only 15% of the weight of horses, which evolved strong flight responses. Therefore, many riders and handlers resort to...

This is a report of a one-day meeting jointly convened by the RSPCA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which brought together around 70 researchers, veterinarians, animal technologists, regulators and others with an...

Specifically designed restraint chairs are the preferred method of restraint for research studies that require NHP to sit in place for sustained periods of time. In light of increasing emphasis on refinement of restraint to...

When engaging in procedures that horses may find aversive, restraint methods are often used to help ensure safety of both horse and handler. Twitching is a common restraint method, but its use is sometimes considered...

Back disorders are amongst the major health-related disorders associated to working conditions in our society. Horses share with humans the exposure to potential physically harmful working conditions leading to back disorders. However, despite their high...

Specific positioning for different imaging modalities is essential in our small animal imaging core. While we have different animal holders designed to position the animal inside the MRI, additional securing of the animal to the...

Biotelemetry can contribute towards reducing animal numbers and suffering in disciplines including physiology, pharmacology and behavioural research. However, the technique can also cause harm to animals, making biotelemetry a ‘refinement that needs refining’. Current welfare...

This is the third volume of discussions that took place on the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF). This forum is dedicated to the exchange of personal experiences of refining the conditions under which...

Rabbit hypnosis or “trancing” was a common restraint technique used for minor procedures such as: nail clipping, tooth trimming, eye exams, and subcutaneous injections. In years past the technique was originally used on pet rabbits...