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. 

Abnormal behaviours are often used as a welfare indicator in zoo-housed great apes. While previous studies report on the occurrence of abnormal behaviours in zoo-housed chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), there is currently a lack of knowledge...

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...

As pets are considered members of the family, their health has received widespread attention. Since pets cannot talk and complain when they feel uncomfortable, monitoring vital signs becomes very helpful in disease detection, as well...

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...

Assessing and treating cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is a growing concern for institutions housing great apes, as it is a major cause of mortality in all four taxa managed in human care. As part...

The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...

Understanding the physiological processes that underpin primate performance is key if we are to assess how a primate might respond when navigating new and changing environments. Given the connection between a mammal's ability to thermoregulate...

Stereotypies are frequently associated with sub-optimal captive environments and are used as welfare indicators. However, susceptibility to stereotypy can vary across individuals of the same group. As such, identifying which individuals are more susceptible to...

The importance of marmosets for comparative and translational science has grown in recent years because of their relatively rapid development, birth cohorts of twins, family social structure, and genetic tractability. Despite this, they remain understudied...

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...

The unique challenges faced by animals living in zoos can lead to the production of anxiety-related behaviours. In this study we aimed to understand what specific factors may cause chimpanzees to display these behaviours. In...

Over 18 mo, adult female pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) housed at a breeding facility in Arizona were monitored every 6 mo for alopecia. The study period coincided with the movement of a majority of animals...

Chimpanzees demand specialized housing and care and the highest degree of attention to animal welfare. The current project used a survey method to collate information on chimpanzee housing and behavioral indices of welfare across all...

Saliva sampling is an easy, noninvasive method to assess short-term physiological changes, and as such is a valuable addition to behavioral studies in dogs. Different methods for collecting saliva samples in dogs have been reported...

Hair is an emerging biological matrix in which to measure chronic HPA axis activity, offering a longer term view into an animal’s life. We explored effects of exogenous (e.g. lifestyle, medications, social environment) and endogenous...

Hair plucking is observed in many captive primate species and is often characterized as an abnormal behavior. However, this behavior may be both self-directed and social and may have different etiologies. Early research in captive...

Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) enzyme functions as a digestive enzyme in many species that consume starch in their diet. Human studies have also revealed that sAA enzyme activity levels are positively correlated with the release of...

Pacing behaviour, the most frequent stereotypic behaviour displayed by laboratory rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) is often used as an indicator of stress. In this study, we investigated how reliable this welfare indicator is at detecting...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

Given the difficulties of conducting regular endocrine and veterinary assessments of animals, behavioural observations are often the most commonly used tool to assess the welfare of animals in human care. Behavioural measures, inexpensive and convenient...

The 2011 European Union Zoo Inquiry presented evidence that most zoos fail to achieve adequate levels of nonhuman animal welfare. Appropriate environmental enrichment (EE) can play a role in the promotion of welfare. However, financial...

Blood pressure is a critical parameter for evaluating cardiovascular health, assessing effects of drugs and procedures, monitoring physiologic status during anesthesia, and making clinical decisions. The placement of an arterial catheter is the most direct...

When primates exhibit hair loss and are observed to engage in self or social hair plucking (a rapid jerking away of the hair shaft and follicle by the hand or mouth, often accompanied by inspection...

Cortisol levels are often used as a physiological measure of the stress response in captive primates, with noninvasive measures of this being an important step in welfare assessment. We report a method of collecting saliva...

The illegal wildlife trade, especially of live animals, is a major threat to slow lorises. Large numbers of confiscated slow lorises are sent to rescue facilities. We aimed to describe the occurrence and types of...

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