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. 

Blood sampling through the caudal vasculature is a widely used technique in fish biology for investigating organismal health and physiology. In live fishes, it can provide a quick, easy and relatively non‐invasive method for obtaining...

Respirometry has become the standard method for measuring the metabolic rate of fishes. Traditionally, respirometry has required the fish to be kept in captivity and tested under controlled conditions; however, many species do not readily...

Traditional animal welfare paradigms have focused on maintaining physical health and mitigating negative impacts to wellbeing. Recently, however, the field has increasingly recognized the importance of positive welfare (i.e., mental and physical states that exceed...

The number of fish used in research has increased in the last decades. Anaesthesia is required when fish must be held immobile and it is crucial to promote fish welfare, because these vertebrates can show...

This open access book is a printed edition of the Special Issue on Welfare of Cultured and Experimental Fishes that was published in the journal Fishes. The PDF is free for download.

Fish welfare is still a relatively new field. As such, regulations and protocols to ensure fish welfare are currently limited and vary considerably in different jurisdictions. This is in part because of the ongoing controversy...

Animals come in a huge array of types, species and structures, but without realizing it, we have focused our care on those like us, mammals. They look something like us, so it's easy to empathize...

Recent scientific evidence for fish sentience has stressed the need for novel sentience-based detection tools of fish welfare impairment in commercial farms. In order to mimic a well-characterised stress situation, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were...

The effects of structural enrichment in the hatchery rearing environment of brown trout Salmo trutta was linked to post-release performance. Enrichment resulted in reduced swimming activity scored in an open field test and reduced movement...

Laboratory animals need to be monitored to check the status of their health and welfare. Routine checks of laboratory fish are limited to visual observations of physical appearance and behaviour, but for species held in...

In this review, we focus primarily on the refinement of common methods used in fish research based on emerging knowledge with the aim of improving the welfare of fish used in scientific studies. We consider...

Fish batches are often transported from aquacultures to laboratory facilities, and this fact triggers a pre-stressed condition that can cause alterations in both physiological and behavioural status of animals. The acclimation before fish trials is...

Adopting a social science perspective and qualitative methodology on the problem of laboratory fish welfare, this paper examines some underlying social factors and drivers that influence thinking, priorities and implementation of fish welfare initiatives and...

Stress in teleosts is an increasingly studied topic because of its interaction with growth, reproduction, immune system and ultimately fitness of the animal. Whether it is for evaluating welfare in aquaculture, adaptive capacities in fish...

Fish welfare is an essential issue that needs to be tackled by the aquaculture industry. In order to address it, studies have been limited to a small number of species and the information is generally...

Fishes in captivity, such as those used in laboratory research, may experience handling on a regular basis. In the laboratory, handling is usually done with dip-nets, and involves pursuit, confinement and capture and removal of...

Fish are a useful animal model for research, but our improvement in some aspects of their welfare has not kept pace with their increased popularity for this use. For example, researchers rarely use analgesics. We...

The relative movement of juvenile steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss reared on two treatments was investigated to provide insight on the effect of structure in the rearing environment on the behaviour of the fish before potential release...

Analgesics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use in fish is still limited. Some recommendations on the use of analgesics in fish are currently in the literature; however, information...

Domesticated brown trout Salmo trutta parr were subjected to increased, variable flow under controlled experimental conditions. Using geometric morphometric analyses, (a mass:length index) and caudal fin area:body length ratio, this study assessed morphological responses in...

Aquatic vertebrates and cephalopods, amphibians, reptiles, and birds offer unique safety and occupational health challenges for laboratory animal personnel. This paper discusses environmental, handling, and zoonotic concerns associated with these species.

Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss were infiltrated with either saline or lidocaine adjacent to the dorsal fin to assess histopathological changes. Infiltration was done as if it were being used as a local anaesthetic. Tissue lesions...

This Report, commissioned by the European Commission, summarises the current state of transport and slaughter practices in the aquaculture industry within eleven case-study countries in the European Economic Area (EAA). Comparisons are also made with...

Anaesthetic drugs are commonly administered to fish in aquaculture, research and veterinary contexts. Anaesthesia causes temporary absence of consciousness and may reduce the stress and/or pain associated with handling and certain invasive procedures. The rainbow...

This book summarizes the basic features of living fish. It is introduced by a chapter on the diversity of a group which has over 30,000 species, the largest within the vertebrates, describing the classification systems...

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