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. 
Husbandry training and environmental enrichment are both important advancements associated with current behavioural welfare practices. Additionally, the use of training procedures has been proposed as a form of enrichment, with the implication that training can...
The origins of floor-laying in ducks could be low motivation for a nest, or stress related to difficulties with accessing a nest (e.g. competition). Using a behavioural demand test, we investigated if increasing the work...
The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...
The humane treatment of animals suggests that they should be housed in an environment that is rich in stimulation and allows for varied activities. However, even if one’s main concern is an accurate assessment of...
Information on the practical use of cognitive enrichment in zoos is scarce. This survey aimed to identify where cognitive enrichment is being used while identifying factors that may limit its implementation and success. Distributed in...
Playing music or natural sounds to animals in human care is thought to have beneficial effects. An analysis of published papers on the use of human-based music with animals demonstrates a variety of different results...
Moral stress is a major concern in veterinary practice. Often, it is associated with the challenges in end-of-life situations. Euthanasia, however, is also meant to bring relief to animal patients and their owners. The reasons...
We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the association between euthanasia and compassion fatigue among employees working in animal research at a large academic medical center. In summary, animal research workers who euthanize animals reported...
Neurologic conditions such as stroke and traumatic brain injury are challenging conditions to study in humans. Animal models are necessary to uncover disease processes and develop novel therapies. When attempting to model these or other...
Anolis lizards have served as important research models in fields ranging from evolution and ecology to physiology and biomechanics. However, anoles are also emerging as important models for studies of embryo development and tissue regeneration...
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...
Previous histories of animal experimentation, e.g., Franco (2013) have focused on ethics, the law and the personalities involved, but not on the involvement of anaesthetics or analgesics. Given that these were major subjects of (UK)...
Studies on environmental enrichment for reptiles are lacking in the scientific literature. Although the literature reflects a limited take on reptile enrichment in the zoological community, it may not be the case in reality as...
This article describes the importance of providing laboratory animals with opportunities to engage in play, and provides a few practical ideas for how to do this.
This study aimed to evaluate the applicability of rodent behavioral tests to assess the effects of midazolam and flumazenil in green iguanas. Four tests commonly used to assess sedation in rodents—the open field test, forced...
Behavioral management programs aim to enhance the welfare of animal subjects that participate in research, thereby enhancing our ability to conduct ethical research projects. Socialization strategies, environmental enrichment techniques, opportunities for subjects to voluntarily participate...
In response to an increased awareness concerning the welfare of captive animals, several studies have investigated the effect of provisions on stress levels in model species, such as small mammals, birds and fish. In contrast...
The Scientific Committee of the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association (Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Versuchstierkunde, SGV) reports on the Annual SGV Meeting held on 28 and 29 November 2017, at Technopark, Zürich, Switzerland. Feedback after the...
Disaster response planning for laboratory animal facilities is a time- and personnel-intensive undertaking. This article outlines numerous considerations in formulating a plan for disaster response in a high containment animal unit. The planning process is...
OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether the sedative effects of a combination of dexmedetomidine and ketamine differed when it was administered IM in a hind limb versus a forelimb of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius). DESIGN Randomized crossover...
As a large institution housing a variety of species, providing meaningful enrichment to all animals can be an expensive endeavor. Additionally, animal care staff already has a full schedule of responsibilities, including daily animal health...
Laboratory animals experience a large amount of environmental stress. An animal’s environment can include both physiological and social stressors that may require an animal to adapt to maintain allostatic balance. For example, thermal stress can...
Local anesthetics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use is relatively limited in fish, amphibians and reptiles. These animals frequently undergo potentially painful surgical procedures and therefore could possibly...
Environmental enrichment in zoos and aquariums is often evaluated at two overlapping levels: published research and day‐to‐day institutional record keeping. Several authors have discussed ongoing challenges with small sample sizes in between‐groups zoological research and...
Environmental enrichment is an integral part of animal care practices. Enrichment generally refers to items we provide to the animals to support their behavioral needs. It provides a way to functionally simulate the natural environment...

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