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. 

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

This article will describe alterations made by the University of Glasgow to increase the welfare of our Zebra finches by providing them with a more complex environment to engage with. It will describe how we...

Keeping animals in captivity should always favour conditions that aim to improve their welfare with respect to species-specific requirements. For laboratory animals, the majority of welfare issues have been explored in rodents thus far, whereas...

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...

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...

Environmental enrichment must be provided for the various animal species that are housed in laboratory animal facilities. Wheatgrass can be used as a natural form of enrichment that requires minimal preparation and effort. Wheatgrass is...

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