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. 

Humans interact with fishes in many contexts including aquaculture, scientific study and companion animals. In all of these contexts, fish welfare can be compromised through anthropogenic means. Concern for fish welfare has grown considerably in...

In conclusion, the investigations carried out up to now demonstrate that during the early stages fish show high sensitivity to many types of stressors involving an array of responses to overcome alterations that could affect...

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...

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...

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...

Research on the songbird zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) has advanced our behavioral, hormonal, neuronal, and genetic understanding of vocal learning. However, little is known about the impact of typical experimental manipulations on the welfare of...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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)...

Recent scientific evidence for fish sentience has stressed the need for novel sentience-based detection tools of fish welfare impairment in commercial farms. In order to mimic a well-characterised stress situation, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were...

Fish welfare is still a relatively new field. As such, regulations and protocols to ensure fish welfare are currently limited and vary considerably in different jurisdictions. This is in part because of the ongoing controversy...

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...

Laboratory animals need to be monitored to check the status of their health and welfare. Routine checks of laboratory fish are limited to visual observations of physical appearance and behaviour, but for species held in...

Fish batches are often transported from aquacultures to laboratory facilities, and this fact triggers a pre-stressed condition that can cause alterations in both physiological and behavioural status of animals. The acclimation before fish trials is...

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...

Fish welfare is an essential issue that needs to be tackled by the aquaculture industry. In order to address it, studies have been limited to a small number of species and the information is generally...

Adopting a social science perspective and qualitative methodology on the problem of laboratory fish welfare, this paper examines some underlying social factors and drivers that influence thinking, priorities and implementation of fish welfare initiatives and...

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...

Songbirds are kept as pets around the world, and bird-singing contests occur in several countries. However, there is a lack of scientific support for songbird welfare and stress monitoring. Thus, we aimed to validate the...

This article describes the rehoming of 10 laboratory female rabbits now living as a group in a private shelter.

Traditional animal welfare paradigms have focused on maintaining physical health and mitigating negative impacts to wellbeing. Recently, however, the field has increasingly recognized the importance of positive welfare (i.e., mental and physical states that exceed...

The effects of structural enrichment in the hatchery rearing environment of brown trout Salmo trutta was linked to post-release performance. Enrichment resulted in reduced swimming activity scored in an open field test and reduced movement...

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...

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