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. 

The relationship between inadequate foraging opportunities and the expression of oral repetitive behaviors has been well documented in many production animal species. However, this relationship has been less-well examined in zoo-housed animals, particularly avian species...

Research on the songbird zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) has advanced our behavioral, hormonal, neuronal, and genetic understanding of vocal learning. However, little is known about the impact of typical experimental manipulations on the welfare of...

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...

The standard method of obtaining body temperature in a bird can be a stressful event, making routine evaluations challenging. Twenty-eight privately owned birds in good health were enrolled in the study to compare digital and...

Ducks, like other domestic poultry species, can visualize the ultraviolet (UV) portion of the light spectrum; however, the importance of UV light radiation in artificially lit duck growout facilities remains unknown. The objective of this...

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...

Endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana ) have been produced in captivity for reintroduction programs since the 1980s, using techniques such as artificial insemination, multiple clutching, and captive‐rearing to speed recovery efforts. Chicks are often hand‐reared...

For over a century, the practice of deflighting has taken place in zoological collections in order to ensure birds remain in open-topped enclosures. Over time, efforts have been made to improve or develop new (surgical)...

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...

Songbirds are kept as pets around the world, and bird-singing contests occur in several countries. However, there is a lack of scientific support for songbird welfare and stress monitoring. Thus, we aimed to validate the...

Behavioural demand tests are informative tools for studying animal welfare, because they asses the motivation of an animal to obtain a given resource. Pekin ducks are a species on which behavioural demand testing has not...

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...

Meloxicam is the most frequently used NSAID in birds; however, its elimination t1/2 is highly variable among species. Because zebra finches that require analgesia could benefit from receiving meloxicam, we performed a pharmacokinetic study involving...

A thorough understanding of how animals fly is a central goal of many scientific disciplines. Birds are a commonly used model organism for flight research. The success of this model requires studying healthy and naturally...

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the anesthetic and cardiorespiratory effects of IM alfaxalone and isoflurane administration in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and compare use of these agents with use of manual restraint. ANIMALS 42 healthy budgerigars. PROCEDURES For...

In adult songbirds, the primary functions of song are mate attraction and territory defense; yet, many songbirds sing at high rates as juveniles and outside these primary contexts as adults. Singing outside primary contexts is...

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...

Abnormal repetitive behaviours (ARBs) are associated with past, or present, welfare problems and are common elements of the behavioural repertoire of some captive animals, including birds. Millions of birds from hundreds of species are held...

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...

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.

Captive animals are susceptible to chronic stress due to restricted space, lack of hiding places, presence of visitors, or the lack of resources that promote physical and mental stimuli. In birds, chronic stress can promote...

Conservation and research efforts occasionally rely upon bringing wild animals into human care to establish breeding programs and to understand their biology. Wild‐caught birds may have husbandry requirements that differ from captive‐reared animals due, in...

The psychological and physiological effects of different genres of music are well documented in humans. These concepts have also been studied in kenneled dogs and some exotic animals, implying that animals may experience benefits similar...

Although zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) have been used in biomedical research for many years, no published reports are available about euthanizing these small birds. In this study, we compared 5 methods for zebra finch euthanasia...

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