Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

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 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. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Reactions to dying and dead conspecifics have been observed in many non-human animals. Elephants, particularly African elephants, are thought to have an awareness of the death of their conspecifics, as they show compassionate behaviour towards...

In commercial flocks of laying hens, keel bone fractures (KBFs) are prevalent and associated with behavioural indicators of pain. However, whether their impact is severe enough to induce a depressive-like state of chronic stress is...

Hamsters have historically been used in our pharmacokinetic (PK) studies using the retro-orbital (RO) bleeding technique to collect blood samples. If performed incorrectly, this technique has the potential for animal welfare complications not usually seen...

If a laboratory animal survives an experiment without lasting compromised welfare, its future must be negotiated. Rehoming may be a consideration. This paper reports on research findings that provide an indication of the uptake of...

The present study assessed the diurnal variation in salivary cortisol in captive African elephants during routine management (baseline) and in relation to a potential stressor (translocation) to evaluate to what extent acute stress may affect...

Boredom, while often casually attributed to non-human animals by both laypeople and scientists, has received little empirical study in this context. It is sometimes dismissed by others as anthropomorphic or a trivial concern in comparison...

Human body odors contain chemosignals that make species-specific communication possible. Interspecies communication studies were conducted on dogs and horses subjected to human chemosignals produced in happiness and fear emotional states. Dogs showed behaviors consistent with...

Responses to ambiguous and aversive stimuli (e.g. via tests of judgment bias and measures of startle amplitude) can indicate mammals’ affective states. We hypothesised that such findings generalize to birds, and that these two responses...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

Repeated injections in rats and mice are typically done via the tail vein. For hamsters, the tail is not an option. In this paper we explore the development and refinement of IV dosing in the...

When measuring animals’ valenced behavioural responses to stimuli, the Conditioned Place Preference (CPP) test goes a step further than many approach-based and avoidance-based tests by establishing whether a learned preference for, or aversion to, the...

Scientists are often reluctant to attribute emotions to nonhuman animals that are similar to human emotions. When the author published her early studies, reviewers prohibited the word fear. Fearful behavior had to be described as...

Laboratory animals are still necessary in scientific investigation and vaccine testing, but while novel methodological approaches are not available for their replacement, the search for new, humane, easy, and painless methods is necessary to diminish...

To examine these issues [transportation of laboratory animals], the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use held a workshop on September 3-4, 2014, in Washington, DC. More than 200 people participated in the...

Data collected in vivo is essential for advising decisions on drug screening and development and basic research, and animal models are used extensively for acquiring experimental measurements. Traditionally, collection of specimens has been invasive, stressful...

Poultry transport systems are currently under investigation with a particular focus on design and dimensions of commercially available transport crates. The height of the crates currently used is debated and considered by some parties to...

The presence of a conspecific can ameliorate an individual's stress response. This social buffering is known to be widespread in social mammals but the capacity of birds to act as social buffers has not yet...

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...

Specific positioning for different imaging modalities is essential in our small animal imaging core. While we have different animal holders designed to position the animal inside the MRI, additional securing of the animal to the...

Our experience-based discussion suggests that social animals benefit from compatible companionship during post-operative recovery. The traditional practice of keeping animals alone in an unfamiliar environment after surgery increases the subjects surgery-associated stress. Providing a familiar...

The question was asked: "The terms 'stress' and 'distress' are often used in the scientific literature but usually without a definition. If you use these terms, how do you define them? What are the signs...

Stress associated with transportation has widespread effects on physiological systems in laboratory animals, including changes in the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, central nervous, and reproductive systems. Although short-lived, these changes can confound research if animals are...

This article provides details to consider when preparing to use animals in biomedical research. The stress of transport and receipt of animals into a new environment mandate the need for a period of stabilization and...

The question was asked: "In your own experience, what is the least disturbing technique - from the subject's point of view! - of blood collection for rodents?" In summary, it is fair to conclude the...

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