Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every four months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

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, Setting, 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 that include earlier publications) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions that include earlier publications) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Automated assessment of broiler chicken welfare poses particular problems due to the large numbers of birds involved and the variety of different welfare measures that have been proposed. Active (sustained, defect-free) walking is both a...

Objective Mouse models are valuable in preclinical studies of inflammatory arthritis. However, current methods for measuring disease severity or responses to treatment are not optimal. In this study a smart cage system using multiple sensors...

Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) are commonly used as cleaner fish in salmon farms as a biological treatment to mitigate sea lice infestation. Improved welfare for cleaner fish both during production of these fish and when...

We would like to rebut the argument made by Saraiva et al. (1) in their paper “Finding the “golden stocking density”: a balance between fish welfare and farmers' perspectives,” that stocking densities should not be...

Usage and reporting of analgesia in animal models of spinal cord injury (SCI) have been sparse and requires proper attention. The majority of experimental SCI research uses rats as an animal model. This study aimed...

The latest edition of the seminal reference on the care and management of laboratory and research animals. The newly revised ninth edition of The UFAW Handbook on the Care and Management of Laboratory and Other...

Zebra finches are an uncommon animal model in the biomedical industry but are widely used in language development, memory, and learning studies. Native to Australia, they are desert birds that like warm days and 40%+...

The Animal Resources Core (ARC) at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute (AWRI) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) faces many of the same challenges other institutions manage in terms of enrichment for laboratory animals. A Behavior...

Subcutaneous injection is a vital technique in mouse-based biomedical research. Compared to other injections, the subcutaneous method poses fewer technical challenges and reduces acute toxicity risks due to slower absorption. Several suitable subcutaneous injection sites...

In dogs, maternal behaviour plays an essential role in offspring survival and can influence the development and behaviour of the neonate later in life. We investigated the effect of prepartum enrichment on maternal behaviour and...

Assessment of behavioural phenotype is crucial for the evaluation of various disease models, particularly inlaboratory rodents. Traditionally, this includes performing a variety of conventional tests where animals areremoved from their home-cages and placed in behavioural...

Anticipatory behavior describes the actions taken to prepare for an upcoming event. It is considered a promising tool for welfare assessment, but it is not fully applied in zoos and other facilities. This is probably...

Improper feeding methods can be linked to canine behaviour problems, as the conventional bowl-feeding approach fail to mimic natural behaviour and is associated with obesity. Feeding toys can potentially contribute to the enhancement of dog...

Domesticated horses are often housed in individual stables for long periods where physical contact with conspecifics is not possible. Although common, this form of stable design is known to be detrimental to horse welfare. This...

Environmental enrichment (EE) is commonly provided to animals managed under human care, being beneficial to behavioral diversity and improving animal welfare. Use of EE appears to be particularly beneficial to individual wild animals spending a...

Typical diets for finishing cattle are concentrate-rich and low in roughage, which may limit species-specific feeding behaviours and increase the risk of digestive disorder. Our objective was to measure how motivated finishing steers are to...

Blindfolds have commonly been suggested to make horses more tractable in emergency or high-stress situations such as barn fire evacuations or trailer loading. However, little research has been done on the veracity of this claim...

As a central key to apprehend the human-cat relationship, the question of how humans decode the behaviours expressed by their feline companions has drawn scientists’ attention in the past decades. To this point, previous studies...

The ethics of animal training procedures have seen dramatic changes in the last few decades, with a movement toward reward-based training methods. These reward-based training practices have also been directly impacted by the behavioral and...

Current mouse handling methods during cage change procedures can cause stress and potentially compromise animal welfare. Our previous study of breeding C57BL/6J mice found modest increases in pup production and a significant reduction in preweaning...

Blood extraction is extremely important for the development of scientific research; however, the existing methods for amphibian´s blood sampling are invasive, mainly leading to the euthanasia of the animal. Therefore, less intrusive methods that allow...

Forty-seven free-ranging sea turtles (46- Chelonia mydas, 1- Eretmochelys imbricata) were examined via novel use of an endoscopy combined with a rectal enema to obtain large fecal sample volumes. The cloaca was insufflated using an...

The implementation of environmental enrichment (EE) can be effective in promoting zoo animal welfare by enhancing the performance of natural or species-typical behaviors. Research on the effects of EE is biased towards larger mammalian species...

Abnormal repetitive stereotypic behaviours (SBs) (e.g. pacing, body-rocking) are common in animals with poor welfare (e.g. socially isolated/in barren housing). But how (or even whether) poor housing alters animals’ brains to induce SBs remains uncertain...