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 experiment was conducted to determine the effects of habituation to livestock trailers on stress responses in goats transported for long periods. Intact male Spanish goats (12-month old; BW = 31.6 ± 0.34 kg; N...

To date, there is no official method for measuring horse welfare after transport. This study aimed to develop a scale to classify horses into four categories: good shape; light affected; affected; down (GLAD) based on...

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...

Invertebrates are a diverse group of animals that make up the majority of the animal kingdom and encompass a wide array of species with varying adaptations and characteristics. Invertebrates are found in nearly all of...

There is increasing evidence of compromised welfare for elephants managed in captivity. Should such facilities eventually close, more elephants will need to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into the wild. The goal of such reintegration would...

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...

In the last decades, wildlife diseases and the health status of animal populations have gained increasing attention from the scientific community as part of a One Health framework. Furthermore, the need for non-invasive sampling methods...

Stocking density and trough space allowance can potentially impact sheep welfare during live export voyages. The aim of this study was to assess the welfare implications for sheep housed at five allometric stocking densities, with...

Chronic stress is a major source of welfare problems in many captive populations, including fishes. While we have long known that chronic stress effects arise from maladaptive expression of acute stress response pathways, predicting where...

Horses with a low level of tameness are at higher risk for transport-related disease and injury; hence, European regulations for the protection of animals during transport (EC 1/2005) are stricter for unhandled (unbroken) horses. However...

Welfare is an individual attribute. In general, providing captive nonhuman animals with conditions conducive to good welfare is an idea more easily applied when dealing with few individuals. However, this becomes much harder—if not impossible—under...

Welfare considerations and regulations for invertebrates have lagged behind those for vertebrates, despite invertebrates comprising more than 95% of earth’s species. Humans interact with and use aquatic invertebrates for exhibition in zoos and aquaria, as...

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...

Questionnaires are very useful tools when it comes to assessing zoo based animal measures and caretakers of these animals (such as keepers, trainers and veterinarians) are in the best position to provide accurate answers to...

Introduction: Transport to the clinic is a major source of stress for cats. The process involves being put into a carrier, driven in a car and handled. Cats are therefore removed from the safe-haven of...

This study into the behaviour of domestic cats (Feliscatus) aimed to assess the relationship between behavioural expressions obtained via the Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) and quantitative outcomes of temperament tests. Four behavioural tests were used...

Personality is often defined as the behaviour of individual animals that is consistent across contexts and over time. Personality traits may become unstable during stages of ontogeny from infancy to adulthood, especially during major periods...

The regulations for minimal space and direction of travel for land transport in horses vary worldwide and there is currently no definitive guidance to promote equine health and welfare. This study evaluated the effects of...

Hamsters have historically been used in our pharmacokinetic (PK) studies using the retro-orbital (RO) bleeding technique to collect blood samples. If performed incorrectly, this technique has the potential for animal welfare complications not usually seen...

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...

Blood sampling through the caudal vasculature is a widely used technique in fish biology for investigating organismal health and physiology. In live fishes, it can provide a quick, easy and relatively non‐invasive method for obtaining...

The present study assessed the diurnal variation in salivary cortisol in captive African elephants during routine management (baseline) and in relation to a potential stressor (translocation) to evaluate to what extent acute stress may affect...

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...

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...