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...

When necessary, sea turtles are held captive for veterinarian care and research purposes. Protocols and basic guidelines have been described for husbandry of sea turtles with veterinarian needs but not considering physiological indicators of animal...

Management choices during the pullet phase can affect behavior, welfare, and health later in life, but few studies have evaluated the pullet phase, particularly in extensive housing systems. This study was a 2 × 2...

Depression and anxiety are some of the most prevalent and debilitating mental health conditions in humans. They can present on their own or as co-morbidities with other disorders. Like humans, non-human primates (NHPs) can develop...

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...

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...

There is an increasing concern about welfare issues related to battery cages, which are commonly used in Vietnam, and requires a modified cage that improves hen welfare while retaining its economic and management advantages. We...

A cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of feather damaging behavior (FDB) and evaluate the related risk factors among companion psittacine birds in Iran. For data collection, a structured questionnaire was prepared and...

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...

Across captive settings, nonhuman primates may develop an array of abnormal behaviors including stereotypic and self-injurious behavior. Abnormal behavior can indicate a state of poor welfare, since it is often associated with a suboptimal environment...

Recent years have witnessed major advances in the ability of computerized systems to track the positions of animals as they move through large and unconstrained environments. These systems have so far been a great boon...

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 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...