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. 
In conclusion, the investigations carried out up to now demonstrate that during the early stages fish show high sensitivity to many types of stressors involving an array of responses to overcome alterations that could affect...
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 white-crowned pigeon, Patagioenas leucocephala, is a species of bird not often used in research. This may be related to its anxiety during normal human interactions, such as with cage changing. Our institution acquired a...
Deflighting zoo birds is a practice that receives increasing criticism due to its presumed incompatibility with animal welfare. To our knowledge, this is the first approach to address this problem in a scientific way. To...
Common loons (Gavia immer) are diving waterbirds that are particularly challenging to keep in captivity due to their specific behavioral and physiologic needs, special housing requirements, and susceptibility to stress‐related disease. We report a novel...
Capybaras, also known as “water pigs,” are the world’s largest rodent. Although these animals are closely related to guinea pigs, with a shoulder height of approximately 2 ft, coarse brown fur, and partially webbed feet...
The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is a rodent that has gained importance as a biomedical research model for various conditions including hypoxic brain injury, cancer and nociception. It is captured from the wild and...
In the expanding salmon industry, many farmers use production methods that could result in poor welfare of the fish at various points of their lifecycle. We have reviewed methods used for producing salmon for food...
Budgerigars housed in conventional cages have no opportunity for some normal behaviours, in particular flight, and develop stereotyped behaviours. Increasingly aviaries are used for groups of budgerigars but the minimum space requirement to support normal...
Many animals blend in well with their environment known as camouflage which is a successful predator avoidance strategy. However, captive environments often do not allow for camouflage and may result in stress and reduced welfare...
When singly or pair housed in cages, pigeons have a relatively small area in which to walk and stretch or flap their wings. More space is required to allow pigeons to be housed in numbers...
In recent decades, goose production has become more specialized and widespread, and rearing geese in plastic wire-floor pens is common in China. This type of rearing pattern is more productive than other rearing patterns since...
Marmota monax is a valuable laboratory animal species used in studies of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), food intake, obesity, hibernation, and circannual cycles. This article describes the woodchuck’s (also known as groundhog) natural behavior and...
Fish are capable of excellent vision and can be profoundly influenced by the visual properties of their environment. Ambient colours have been found to affect growth, survival, aggression and reproduction, but the effect of background...
In cases where different species might be housed in the same room or secondary enclosure, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals recommends that the animals should be behaviorally compatible and have...
The study of laboratory animal behavior has increased steadily over the last decade, with expanding emphasis on a variety of commonly used species. In the United States, this trend was initially focused on species for...
Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine: An Introduction, Fourth Edition offers a user-friendly guide to the unique anatomy and physiology, care, common diseases, and treatment of small mammals and nonhuman primates. Carefully designed for ease of use...
The authors provide an update to their 2006 report on the successful large-scale captive breeding of the 13-lined ground squirrel (TLGS; Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) in their colony, now a single-source supplier of purpose-bred TLGSs for several...
The preference of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) for different in-cage shelters was tested. First, 15 males and 15 females were made to choose between a cage with a shelter and one without. Different shelters were...
Birds that are kept in captivity often require nail trims, presumably due to the lack of opportunity to wear the nails down on natural substrates. For many birds, restraint for the nail trim may result...
This study tested whether Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) have an aversion to old bedding (up to 14 days) by offering them the option to nest in a new cage. A secondary goal was to assess...
Fish have the same stress response and powers of nociception as mammals. Their behavioural responses to a variety of situations suggest a considerable ability for higher level neural processing – a level of consciousness equivalent...
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...

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