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. 

Shelters are important for animal survival. Provision of adequate hiding places allow animals to express their natural sheltering behavior and it can have different positive effects on cortisol levels, physiological processes and mental performance. Although...

Xenopus laevis have a unique process for consuming food. They lack a tongue and must utilize inertial suction, jaw prehension, forearm scooping, overhead kicking, and terrestrial lunges when hunting prey. The mechanism by which Xenopus...

Demarking individual animals within a group is often required in research. However, the process of invasive tagging induces stress and if a tag becomes detached it may wound the animal and/or prevent identification. Photo identification...

Tracking individual animals with small-sized passive integrated transponder tags (PIT tags) has become a popular and widespread method, one which can be used for investigating life history traits, including dispersal patterns of small protected animals...

Husbandry staff set a goal to develop a health monitoring program for a Xenopus laevis colony that included not only specific pathogen freedom, but wellness. This article describes environmental enrichment and a water recipe for...

The Critically Endangered mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) has undergone drastic population decline due to habitat loss, hunting, invasive species, and chytridiomycosis. In response, several partner institutions initiated a conservation breeding program. It is important...

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.

It is vital to provide appropriate nutrition to maintain healthy populations in conservation breeding programs. Knowledge of the wild diet of a species can be used to inform captive diet formulation. The nutritional content of...

Often few alternative anesthetics for exotic species are available, due to the small numbers of these animals used in research. In this study, we evaluated the depth and duration of anesthesia in Xenopus laevis after...

Xenopus tropicalis is an increasingly important animal model in a variety of biological research fields. In many countries legislation exists to promote and increase welfare wherever possible, including the ability to view animals during daily...

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...

Various animal models are indispensible in biomedical research. Increasing awareness and regulations have prompted the adaptation of more humane approaches in the use of laboratory animals. With the development of easier and faster methodologies to...

Axolotls can be used in scientific research to provide fertilised embryos for investigations into the genetic pathways controlling stem cell development. Breeding animals are housed for several years and environmental enrichment is required to improve...

The keeping of exotic pets is currently under debate and governments of several countries are increasingly exploring the regulation, or even the banning, of exotic pet keeping. Major concerns are issues of public health and...

The captive environment of a laboratory animal can profoundly influence its welfare and the scientific validity of research produced. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) is a common model organism, however current husbandry guidelines lack...

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...

Environmental enrichment has become an important aspect of animal husbandry within research facilities. Such enrichment has been shown to improve the quality of life for research animals and provide a more natural habitat. Different enrichment...

We have established ex situ assurance colonies of two endangered Panamanian harlequin frogs, Atelopus certus and Atelopus glyphus, but observed that males fought with each other when housed as a group. Housing frogs individually eliminated...

Environmental enrichment has become an important aspect of animal care in research facilities over the years. It is easy to come up with enrichment for mice, rats, and other mammals; however, what do you get...

Xenopus laevis is a commonly used research animal for which well accepted enrichment strategies have not been established. Our overall objective was to identify enrichment strategies that are most beneficial to Xenopus as a step...

This is the third volume of discussions that took place on the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF). This forum is dedicated to the exchange of personal experiences of refining the conditions under which...

Reptiles and amphibians have been neglected in research on cognition, emotions, sociality, need for enriched and stimulating environments, and other topics that have been greatly emphasized in work on mammals and birds. This is also...

Xenopus are a hardy, long-lived, aquatic amphibian species which readily adapt to a captive environment. This characteristic makes Xenopus ideal for the laboratory, where they are used extensively in basic and biomedical research. Though husbandry...

Xenopus laevis is the most widely used model amphibian species in laboratories, yet there is almost no experimental evidence to guide best practice for captive housing. Enrichment is an important component of maintenance and welfare...

In this study, the preference of X. laevis for different housing conditions were examined. X. laevis preferred dark backgrounds, a water temperature between 20C-22C and the deeper parts of the test basin. Red earthenware pipe...

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