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. 

The latest edition of the seminal reference on the care and management of laboratory and research animals. The newly revised ninth edition of The UFAW Handbook on the Care and Management of Laboratory and Other...

Recent evidence suggests that at least some insect species might plausibly feel pain. These findings should prompt researchers to think about the welfare implications of insect experiments.

Pain in response to tissue damage functions to change behaviour so that further damage is minimised whereas healing and survival are promoted. This paper focuses on the behavioural criteria that match the function to ask...

Considerable research has been conducted on the effects of inter-institutional transfers, but far less consideration has been given to intra-institutional transfers and extended housing in off-habitat holding. On 15 May 2018, The Oregon Zoo’s orangutans...

In a new review article, experiments on hermit crab behaviour are discussed in the context of possible animal sentience. Sentience can be defined as the ability to experience feelings such as pleasure or pain but...

My recent review examined the complex and intimate relationship between hermit crabs and the empty gastropod shells upon which they depend for survival. Because shells come with costs as well as benefits, the crabs are...

Hermit crabs have an intimate relationship with gastropod shells and show numerous activities by which they locate, select, and change shells in different contexts. They gather information about new shells and update information about their...

Behavioral variation in animals is often influenced by experience. Previous studies have found that daily threatening experiences can enhance fear- and anxiety-like behaviors in some vertebrates. However, it is unclear whether the change in fear/anxiety...

The article describes the care of the Olive python (Liasis olivaceus) including information on housing, feeding, handling, as well as the general health care of these animals. Some of the information presented is derived from...

Quantitative blood pressure measurement is a critical parameter for assessing cardiovascular health, monitoring physiologic status under anesthesia, and making clinical decisions. The placement of an arterial catheter is the most accurate way to measure blood...

Much environmental enrichment for laboratory animals is intended to enhance animal welfare and normalcy by providing stimulation to reduce 'boredom'. Behavioural manifestations of boredom include restless sensation-seeking behaviours combined with indicators of sub-optimal arousal. Here...

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...

Mikhalevich & Powell (2020) argue that it is wrong to dismiss the idea of sentience in invertebrates. Here, I expand on the evidence for crustaceans responding to noxious stimuli in ways that are not explained...

Here we describe the behaviour of a female blonde capuchin (Sapajus flavius) towards her dead infant and discuss possible explanations linked to the anecdotal event. We conducted our study in a fragment of Atlantic forest...

Assessing and treating cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is a growing concern for institutions housing great apes, as it is a major cause of mortality in all four taxa managed in human care. As part...

Understanding the physiological processes that underpin primate performance is key if we are to assess how a primate might respond when navigating new and changing environments. Given the connection between a mammal's ability to thermoregulate...

We searched a selection of the scientific literature to document evidence for, and explorations into reptile sentience. The intention of this review was to highlight; (1) to what extent reptile capability for emotions have been...

Internal RFID transponders have been used in vertebrates for many years, however studies into their use in invertebrates are less well represented in the literature. The use of RFID transponders for internal temperature measurement represents...

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...

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prone to judge an ambiguous stimulus negatively if they had been agitated through shaking which simulates a predator attack. Such a cognitive bias has been suggested to reflect an internal...

A group of 39 captive common squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) had their body temperature measurements compared by rectal thermometry and facial infrared thermal imaging (Flir i3, Flir Systems Inc). Squirrel monkeys were caught up and...

The detection and assessment of pain in animals is crucial to improving their welfare in a variety of contexts in which humans are ethically or legally bound to do so. Thus clear standards to judge...

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...

Successful housing requires knowledge of ferret behaviors including social behavior, eating habits, a general inquisitive nature, and a species-typical need to burrow and hide. Regular handling is necessary to maintain well-being. A ferret health care...

Preparation of domestically bred animals for research usually involves some combination of social separation, relocation, resocialization, alterations in physical space, photoperiod, and diet, as well as exposure to novel environments. The research literature that has...