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 volume reviews the broad topic of welfare in nonhuman primates under human care. Chapters detail the history of primates in captivity, ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of nonhuman primates as entertainment or...

Promoting good primate welfare outside of daylight hours is an important task. The responsibility to provide a complex environment and environmental enrichment is an essential element of primate wellbeing programs that should be approached from...

Climate change includes different dramatic events, and among them, heat stress exposition is the strongest phenomenon affecting the livestock sector. The effects of heat stress events on animal welfare are complex and the economic impacts...

Mobile zoos are events in which non-domesticated (exotic) and domesticated species are transported to venues such as schools, hospitals, parties, and community centres, for the purposes of education, entertainment, or social and therapeutic assistance. We...

Ex situ amphibian populations are a key component of global amphibian conservation strategy, and optimal husbandry is vital to ex situ conservation success. Animal behavior can be used to inform captive welfare and improve husbandry...

To ensure the optimal living conditions of farm animals, it is essential to understand how their senses work and the way in which they perceive their environment. Most animals have a different hearing range compared...

A negative human-animal relationship (HAR) from the perspective of the animal is a limiting factor affecting farm animal welfare, as well as farm animal productivity. Research in farm animals has elucidated sequential relationships between stockperson...

Mixed rations provide ruminants with a balanced diet by aiming to prevent selective feeding. However, this is a natural behavior of sheep and goats based on their dietary needs and the nutritional properties of feedstuffs...

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...

This review commentary focuses on traditional management practices and facility design with suggested improvements in non-public primate management areas, often called “back-of-house”, (henceforth BOH) in zoos, sanctuaries, and research facilities. Progress has been made toward...

The majority of lamb losses occur within the first two weeks of life, with cold stress being a major cause of lamb morbidity and mortality. This study investigated the effect of insulating lamb jackets on...

Brushing produces a relaxing effect and improves the welfare of ewes and lambs and the human-animal relationship. Lambs gently handled during rearing are less fearful to humans in their adulthood, but there are few studies...

This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...

In a 2018 AALAS webinar on Sheep and Goat Analgesia, Dr. Susie Vogel, a small ruminant expert, introduced the concept of getting sheep and goats to willingly take medication by putting it in a tasty...

Amphibian health problems of unknown cause limit the success of the growing number of captive breeding programs. Spindly leg syndrome (SLS) is one such disease, where affected individuals with underdeveloped limbs often require euthanization. We...

There are a multitude of health monitoring techniques/ methods available. It can be difficult to know which of these to use and when to use them. This is an attempt to simplify, maximise the efficacy...

Background: Farm animals (FAs) are frequently used in biomedical research. Recommendations for the purchase, housing and health monitoring of these animals (sheep, goats, cattle and pigs) are still missing, and many institutes have developed their...

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...

In the last decades, an engineering process has deeply transformed livestock houses by introducing fine-tuned climate control systems to guarantee adequate indoor climate conditions needed to express the maximum genetic potential of animals and to...

Positive stockperson attitudes to his or her animals is associated with a positive behavioural response in the animals and in other indicators assumed to reflect a high level of welfare as well as increased productivity...

Sheep lameness is a major concern among farmers and policymakers with significant impacts on animal welfare standards as well as financial and production performance. The present study attempts to identify the relative importance of environmental...

This article describes a protocol for training capuchins for co-operative feeding. Three months after beginning the training, the two dominant individuals consistently stay stationed, calmly focused, and the keeper is able to hand the subordinate...

Threshold temperatures for cold stress in sheep are not well understood, the available literature is somewhat dated and reports relate to winter temperatures that are relatively benign. Sheep’s preferences for outdoor versus indoor environments, when...

In order to assess the level of sheep welfare in small traditional farms as compared with farms of increased size we evaluated several animal-based parameters and applied a modified Animal Needs Index (ANI) protocol in...