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. 

Low-stress handling methods have been studied in detail in mice, but relatively little research exists concerning preferred handling methods in rats. Most recommendations for low-stress handling of rats have been extrapolated from the mouse literature...

Abnormal behaviour has been related to differences in cognitive function and reduced animal welfare. However, these associations are understudied, and little is known about how various forms of abnormal behaviour affect learning performance, stress responses...

Reading another animal’s emotional state can enable receivers to anticipate their behavioural motivations, which is important in guiding interactions with that individual. For species living closely alongside humans, the emotional cues that we express can...

Although there has been an increase in research studying the impact of housing on zoo animal welfare, there is still a lack of literature regarding the impact of seasonal housing differences on animal welfare. In...

The currently most widespread stunning method for pigs is high concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), but this method is under scrutiny due to animal welfare deficits. One alternative method currently under development with potential to...

Regardless of international animal welfare regulations, most sows in production currently spend most of their lives and the peripartum period in caged housing systems. Although this type of management is intended to reduce neonatal mortality...

Qualitative ratings are increasingly used to assess animal welfare. We investigated the associations between daily caretakers’ ratings of individuals’ behavioral style, behavior during free time, participation during training sessions, and environmental variables in captive Yangtze...

Environmental enrichment implemented in early life is able to induce long-term changes in gene expression, synaptic function and behavioural responses. In this study, we evaluated the adult behavioural effects of perinatal environment enrichment in male...

Re-establishing the natural connectivity of rivers using fishways may mitigate the unfavourable effects of dam construction on riverine biodiversity and freshwater fish populations. Knowledge of the swimming performance of target species in specific regions is...

Pain identification in farm animals is a welfare challenge worldwide. In the last decade, our research team validated the Unesp-Botucatu Cattle Acute Pain Scale (UCAPS) based on specific pain or discomfort behaviors and alterations to...

Holistic approaches have been implemented to minimise stress expressed as stereotypies associated with low welfare conditions, which can arise from a range of factors such as frustration, adaptation attempts and neurological problems. Such behaviour was...

Medicating large production animals, such as sows, individually can be challenging, especially when repeated treatments are needed. Intramuscular (i.m.) injections have been shown to be aversive, and an increased reaction could be expected over consecutive...

Rearing environment plays a vital role in maintaining physical and mental health of both animals and humans. Plenty of studies have proved that physical environment enrichment in adolescence has protective effects on emotion, social behavior...

The development of evidence-based zoo animal welfare science and the use of the “five domains” have inspired zoos to increase animal welfare, particularly recognising positive welfare states. We tested whether natural biology (number of habitats...

The research use of zebrafish has risen exponentially over the past decade while anesthetic options have remained largely unchanged.6 ricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222) is widely accepted as an anesthetic for routine husbandry procedures, however it has...

Laboratory fish play an important role in modern scientific research. More and more researchers have begun to pay attention to the other living environment except the physical and chemical factors of the water body, because...

If you conduct technical training with mice at your institution, a scruffing restraint device is a valuable addition to your training aid tool kit. A scruffing restraint device, such as the ScruffGuard offered by Research...

Immunodeficient NSG mice are reported to be less responsive to buprenorphine analgesia. Here, we used NSG mice to compare the efficacy of the commonly used dose of carprofen (5 mg/kg) with 5 and 10 times...

In this short communication, we describe chewing behaviour in sows with no apparent edible substrate in their mouth as a potential social behaviour. Chewing in sows during interaction with unfamiliar sows was unexpectedly observed in...

The spotted ratfish Hydrolagus colliei is the most common holocephalan species exhibited in aquaria worldwide for introducing deep-sea environments and raising awareness of their conservation. However, little is known about the biology of H. colliei...

Social tolerance is an essential feature of social life that can determine the good functioning of a group of animals. Play behaviors, like social play and playing with objects, are frequently associated with positive emotional...

Measures of individual behavioural differences (personality) are highly valuable in many areas of ethology, particularly studies of animal emotion and welfare. However, there are limitations to current behavioural tests of personality. Caregiver questionnaires may provide...

Melatonin (ML) and dexmedetomidine (DM) are used separately as anesthetic premedication or as an anesthetic in humans and laboratory animals. In this study, we aimed to investigate the anesthetic properties of both drugs combined. The...

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...