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 prevalence and inter-observer repeatability of the four most valid and feasible indicators of consciousness after waterbath stunning in turkeys were evaluated before bleeding (i.e., tonic convulsion, breathing, spontaneous blinking and vocalization) and during bleeding...

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)...

Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) is a potent methaemoglobin (MetHb) forming agent used for the lethal control of exotic carnivores and mustelids. To assess the sensitivity of Australian wildlife to PAPP we developed an in vivo assay that...

Effective vaccines are needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty golden hamsters were inoculated with two promising vaccine candidates and eighteen animals were used in pilot trials with viral challenge. ELISA assays were performed to...

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...

Electrical stunning is widely utilized prior to a neck cut to induce unconsciousness in order to improve animal welfare and slaughter efficiency in the broiler production industry. However, slaughter without stunning is still very commonly...

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...

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...

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...

There are very few studies describing euthanasia complications in non-domestic species. The goal of this study was to survey veterinarians to determine what complications may commonly occur during the euthanasia of non-domestic species. An online...

Electrical stunning is likely to remain an important stunning method for turkeys at slaughter. The purpose of this study is to understand the application of various waveforms of alternating current (AC) and pulsed direct currents...

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)...

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...

The effect of CO2 gas-stunning methods (G1: 30% CO2 15 sec, 55% CO2 40 sec, 70% CO2 45 sec; G2: 30% CO2 15 sec, 80% CO2 85 sec) on the efficacy of stunning, blood stress...

The optimal choice of euthanasia method for laboratory rodents depends on a number of factors, including the scientific goals of the study, the need to minimize animal pain and/or distress, applicable guidelines and laws, the...

The use of carbon dioxide (CO2) exposure as a means of animal euthanasia has received considerable attention in mammals and birds but remains virtually untested in reptiles. We measured the behavioral responses of four squamate...

Low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) has been suggested for use in poultry under 4 kg in the abattoir as a more humane alternative to carbon dioxide (CO2). However, there are currently no studies offering a...

Pre-slaughter stunning is required for humane slaughter. For turkeys, head-only electrical stunning is most often used by small scale producers. To ensure immediate and effective stunning, the impedance (resistance) of the tissue of the head...

Leg problems are highly prevalent in modern broiler production and provision of environmental enrichment could be a strategy to improve leg health. Different types of environmental enrichment have undergone evaluation. Our objective was to conduct...

The aim was to assess the onset of brain stem death for two euthanasia methods—manual cervical dislocation (CD) versus the Koechner Euthanizing Device (KED). Over three days broilers of 36 (n = 60), 42 (n...

The main objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of mechanical cervical dislocation using the Koechner Euthanasia Device Model C (KED) in comparison to manual cervical dislocation in layer chickens. Laying hens and/or...