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 overpopulation of shelters and the increase of homeless dogs have become serious problems in many countries. One contributor to the number of both sheltered and homeless dogs is the abandonment and relinquishment of pet...

This article describes the successful rehoming of 60 Malawi cichlids from a vivarium at Stanford University to San Diego Zoo and the California Academy of Sciences.

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

Alternative feed supplements have shown promising effects in terms of performance, but their effects on welfare have had little evaluation. In the present study, we aimed at evaluating the effect of diet supplementation on welfare...

The regulations for minimal space and direction of travel for land transport in horses vary worldwide and there is currently no definitive guidance to promote equine health and welfare. This study evaluated the effects of...

In dogs, the social and spatial restriction associated with living in a kennel environment could lead to chronic stress and the development of abnormal behaviors (“kennel-dog syndrome”). However, little is known about how kenneled dogs...

The present study assessed the diurnal variation in salivary cortisol in captive African elephants during routine management (baseline) and in relation to a potential stressor (translocation) to evaluate to what extent acute stress may affect...

If a laboratory animal survives an experiment without lasting compromised welfare, its future must be negotiated. Rehoming may be a consideration. This paper reports on research findings that provide an indication of the uptake of...

Horses are routinely transported for access to safe off-road riding, veterinary care, breeding, sale, or moving to a new home environment. However, transport is a known stressor in horses. For this reason, problem behavior when...

This paper describes the design and construction – by Animal Care Technicians – of a cage-style crate to transport experimental pigs between buildings that minimizes harm and distress.

NHP are a small, but critical, portion of the animals studied in research laboratories. Many NHP are imported or raised at one facility and subsequently moved to another facility for research purposes. To improve our...

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...

Disposal of dogs retired from commercial breeding facilities presents a scientific and ethical problem. This pilot study aimed to develop criteria for identifying commercial breeding (CB) dogs likely to be at risk for problems during...

Captive-reared fish often have poor survival in the wild and may fail to boost threatened populations. Enrichment during the nursery period can in some circumstances generate a broader behavioural repertoire than conventional hatchery production. Yet...

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...

The marmoset, a type of small monkey native to South America, is a research model of increasing importance for biomedical research in the United States and globally. Marmosets offer a range of advantages as animal...

On farms, female mink are exposed to acute stressors multiple times due to handling, capturing and transport with restricted movement being a typical part of the mating procedure. We hypothesised that no relocation (group NON...

This article describes the rehoming of 10 laboratory female rabbits now living as a group in a private shelter.

A cohort of captive-bred red-eared slider turtles, Trachemys scripta, was received from a commercial vendor. Shortly after arrival, several turtles presented as lethargic with subjectively pale skin and multifocal areas of cotton-like tufts in the...

The aim of this study was to assess hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that were subjected to relocation and surgery to evaluate HPA-axis activity; in addition, we used this marker...

One challenge in providing enrichment to NHP arises following completion of their assigned studies (retired) when there tends to be a sudden decrease in provision of daily human interaction and overall stimulation that results from...

The ornamental fish trade is estimated to handle up to 1.5 billion fishes. Transportation and handling of fishes imposes a range of stressors that can result in mortality at rates of up to 73%. Given...

To examine these issues [transportation of laboratory animals], the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use held a workshop on September 3-4, 2014, in Washington, DC. More than 200 people participated in the...

Nonhuman primates from domestic sources constitute a small, but critical, proportion of animals studied in research laboratories. Many of these nonhuman primates are raised at one facility and subsequently transported/relocated to another facility for research...

The transportation of animals from supplier to experimental facility is one of the biggest stressors to animals in research. Transportation unavoidably causes stress and when the animals arrive at the testing facility they require a...

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