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. 

We would like to rebut the argument made by Saraiva et al. (1) in their paper “Finding the “golden stocking density”: a balance between fish welfare and farmers' perspectives,” that stocking densities should not be...

The objective was to evaluate the impacts of a complex environment and stocking density on Ross 708 broiler chicken behaviors. Eight pens contained either high complexity (HC) or low complexity (LC) environments, and high (HD)...

Animals use specific behaviors and skills to overcome challenges and access resources. Environmental enrichment is provided to animals in human care to both promote species-appropriate behaviors and reduce undesired behaviors. Feather pecking in birds is...

In an attempt to develop more effective surgical implantation methods for fish, surgical incisions typical of those made for implanting micro-acoustic transmitters into the peritoneal cavity were evaluated on a weekly basis for healing progression...

Although the use of incision-free endoscopy for foreign body (FB) removal in dogs and cats has been extensively documented, its application in birds remains limited. Thus, we present the endoscopic removal of gastrointestinal (GI) FBs...

Contrafreeloading (CFL) is a concept that describes the preference of an animal to work for food even when identical food is freely available, and reflects an intrinsic motivation to engage in foraging-related activities. However, altered...

In conventional rearing systems, fast-growing broiler chickens commonly experience welfare issues, such as contact dermatitis, walking difficulties or a lack of expression of species-specific behaviours. Enriching their environment may be a way to improve their...

General anesthesia as used for rodent research can have adverse effects on physiologic mechanisms. Thermoregulation is often greatly inhibited, with resultant deleterious effects on cardiac and respiratory function. These potential effects can be mitigated by...

An increasing number of marine animals are equipped with biologgers, to study their physiology, behaviour and ecology, often for conservation purposes. To minimise the impacts of biologgers on the animals’ welfare, the Refinement principle from...

The effects of stocking density on fish welfare are complex and involve many interacting parameters. This complex relationship between fish welfare, stocking density and influencing factors make it challenging to define a specific optimal (“golden”)...

The objective of this study was to describe the ontogeny of the severe feather pecking (SFP), gentle feather pecking (GFP), aggressive pecking (AP), and enrichment pecking (EP) of non-beak-trimmed Lohmann Brown (LB)-pullets during the first...

The wide geographic distribution, large size and ease of capture has led to decapod crustaceans being used extensively in laboratory experiments. Recently in the United Kingdom decapod crustaceans were listed as sentient beings, resulting in...

The broiler industry has come under sustained pressure from welfare organizations to improve broiler welfare. Breed and stocking density are important factors for broiler welfare and are often specified as criteria for higher welfare systems...

Severe feather pecking (SFP) is a behavioral disorder, for which there are multifactorial reasons. Various aspects of pullet and laying-hen husbandry—including housing conditions, management, feeding, and genetics—must be considered, to prevent negative outcomes, such as...

This study aimed to determine the prevalence of keel bone deviations and feather damage of laying hens in two different free-range housing systems under commercial conditions. Both of the free-range systems had an indoor barn...

Access to pasture is a main benefit of free-range broiler housing systems, yet the level of outdoor stocking density on broiler animal welfare remains unsettled. The growth, feather damage, pasture ranging and behaviors were assessed...

Barren housing and high stocking densities may contribute to negative affective states in broiler chickens, reducing their welfare. We investigated the effects of environmental complexity and stocking density on broilers’ attention bias (measure of anxiety)...

The advanced development of sensor technologies has led to the emergence of fish biosensors that are currently used for research and commercial purposes. AEFishBIT is a miniaturized biosensor attached to fish operculum that measures physical...

Severe feather pecking (SFP) is a major animal welfare problem in layers. It results in pain and injuries in the affected animal. It was the aim of this study to gain insight into the actual...

Resting behaviours make up a large part of the daily time budget of broilers. However, in intensive broiler production systems disruptions of resting behaviours occur, where resting individuals get disturbed by active individuals. Such interruptions...

The Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) is a solitary and naturally territorial animal, with female hamsters being more aggressive than males. This behavior makes handling difficult because they are usually housed in groups, which can lead...

Understanding why some species thrive in captivity, while others struggle to adjust, can suggest new ways to improve animal care. Approximately half of all Psittaciformes, a highly threatened order, live in zoos, breeding centres and...

A common goal of captive animal institutions is to create environments that allow for the most naturalistic behavior from their animals. Behavioral data is often used as a measure of how an animal is thriving...

The relationship between inadequate foraging opportunities and the expression of oral repetitive behaviors has been well documented in many production animal species. However, this relationship has been less-well examined in zoo-housed animals, particularly avian species...

Feather pecking is a prominent issue in the commercial egg industry, associated with economic losses and welfare problems. A non-systematic literature search suggests that studies on feather pecking are predominantly concerned with applied research goals...