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. 
Aspects of the laboratory are aversive to mice, such as being housed under bright lights and at temperatures below their thermal comfort, causing stress and poor welfare. While murine thermal preferences are well understood, light...
Surveys provide a low-cost means to obtain large amounts of data that are ideal for conducting exploratory research, and they are becoming an increasingly valuable tool in a veterinary context. We investigated whether surveys of...
Compared to peers raised in well-resourced, 'enriched' environments (‘EE’), female laboratory mice from conventional barren cages are more aggressive to their cage-mates, and less sociable with familiar non-cage-mates (especially if these too are from conventional...
In mammals, positive tactile contact is recognized as an effective tool for triggering positive affective states. In this study, we investigated the benefits of providing automatic rotative brushes for group-housed horses. Our three aims were...
Millions of amphibians are traded annually around the world for the exotic pet industry. Their experience during both trade, and in captivity as pets, leads to numerous animal welfare issues. The poor welfare of many...
Social animals commonly establish dominance relationships by means of aggressive interaction, leading to hierarchical stability and priority of access to limited resources by high-ranked individuals. In poikilothermic animals, temperature is a major abiotic factor influencing...
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) constitute a useful model for studying memory function and impairment in vertebrates and are now widely used in translational research. On the one hand, the adoption of simple, fast and reliable tests...
Owners may enhance their cats’ welfare by social enrichment (e.g. positive human-animal interactions), and physical enrichment (e.g. play objects). The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between owner characteristics (e.g. attitudes, attachment), household...
Research into cat behavior has gained more attention in recent years. As one of the world’s most popular companion animals, work in this field has potential to have wide-reaching benefits. Cats living in shelters are...
An important behavioral need for laying hens is perching, but few studies have investigated perching behavior in commercial broiler breeder pullets. The aim of this study was to investigate perching behavior throughout the pullet period...
Domestic pet dogs typically spend a large amount of time inside the home environment, including hours alone. An audio/food dispensing automated device (an artificial agent, hereafter agent) was evaluated for enrichment potential. The agent issued...
Housing unweaned calves individually in barren environments negatively affects their growth, cognitive ability, and adaptability to environmental changes in later life. Social housing has been shown to improve those aspects, whereas physical environmental enrichment has...
There is public interest for the welfare of dogs that spend at least part of their lives housed in kennel facilities, such as working, shelter and sporting dogs. The impacts of living in environments that...
Sows in an extensive setting maintain small, stable matrilineal social groups comprised of familiar, and often genetically related, conspecifics. Providing conditions in an intensive farm setting which allow similar social groups could reduce aggression by...
Feather pecking remains a serious problem in poultry farming. This study aimed to identify risk factors for plumage damage as a proxy for feather pecking, and the predictive value of practical animal-based parameters. Data were...
With age, primates’ activity levels and ease of movement may decline and changes in locomotory behaviour may reflect changes in health. Thus, developing quick and reliable measures of movement has important applications for measuring recovery...
One way to reduce fear and lack of compliance during veterinary procedures is ‘cooperative care training’, training animals to voluntarily participate in husbandry and medical care. Here we assessed the effects of cooperative care training...
The welfare of broilers is strongly dependent on the litter material because they spend their life in contact with it. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of alternative litter materials on...
More than 20 y ago, we developed an animal model for chronic and continuous collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from conscious rhesus macaques. Since our previous publication in 2003, we have successfully implanted 168 rhesus...
Prevention of pain in rabbits is a priority for both welfare and validity of scientific data. We aimed to determine if the rabbit grimace scale (RbtGS) could be used as a viable, rapid assessment tool...
Tricaine, or MS-222, is the most commonly used chemical anesthetic in zebrafish research. It is thought to act via blocking voltage-gated sodium channels, though its mechanism of action, particularly at the neuronal level, is not...
The well-being of animals kept by humans in laboratories, farms, or as pets should always be of the highest importance, and a prerequisite for this is adequate housing. To assess the potential indicators for animal...
Improving welfare is still a critical issue in pig husbandry. Upgrades of the housing environment seem to be a promising solution to optimise resilience as a whole, and therefore improve animal welfare. The objective of...
Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is a rare mammal appearing in South and Southeast Asia, first described in 1777. Because of the detrimental effects of stress, studying stress responses is important for this wildlife conservation...
The presence of a conspecific can be calming to some species of animal during stress, a phenomenon known as social buffering. For rodents, social buffering can reduce the perception of and reaction to aversive experiences...

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