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. 
Members of the North American 3Rs Collaborative (NA3RsC) refinement initiative have chosen to summarize developments in five hot topics of interest: 1. Tips for welfare-friendly transport, chairing, and restraint; 2. Guidance on refining food and...
During social interactions, acoustic parameters of tetrapods’ vocalisations reflect the emotional state of the caller. Higher levels of spectral noise and the occurrence of irregularities (non-linear phenomena NLP) might be negative arousal indicators in alarm...
Public concern for farm animal welfare is increasing. Animal welfare is defined as the balance of positive and negative emotions, where positive emotions are key to a good animal life. Emotion is defined as an...
When we treat an animal’s welfare as an individual experience, we should consider the possibility that it may be associated with individual differences in personality. We tested for such associations in 44 socially housed rhesus...
Collaborative semen collection in monkeys is a valuable tool in research, animal collection management, and conservation efforts. To obtain samples, monkeys are often restrained in open restraint chairs (ORC) with the “pole and collar” technique...
Previous reports suggest that female macaques with greater similarity in emotionality and nervous temperament, as evaluated in a well-established BioBehavioral Assessment (BBA) at the California National Primate Research Center, were more likely to form successful...
Gentle human-animal interactions can induce positive emotions in cattle and enhance their welfare. We investigated whether a change in the animals’ perceived control over the situation influences their perception of the interactions. We compared the...
Research with captive wildlife in Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL2) and 3 (ABSL3) facilities is becoming increasingly necessary as emerging and re-emerging diseases involving wildlife have increasing impacts on human, animal, and environmental health. Utilizing...
Personality is often defined as the behaviour of individual animals that is consistent across contexts and over time. Personality traits may become unstable during stages of ontogeny from infancy to adulthood, especially during major periods...
Research in ecology and wildlife biology remains crucial for increasing our knowledge and improving species management and conservation in the midst of the current biodiversity crisis. However, obtaining information on population status often involves invasive...
Examining the literature suggests equine personality is of interest to behavior and welfare scientists and those involved in the equine industry. Study and assessment of personality is critical because of the profound implications certain traits...
For many dogs, receiving veterinary care can be a stressful, fearful or traumatic experience. However, understanding and improving the veterinary experience for dogs is challenging due to the dynamic nature of the veterinary visit, the...
Individual animal personalities affect experiences of zoo environments, and thus potentially welfare. Incorporating keeper knowledge of animal personality in a reliable way has great value in optimising welfare in zoo-housed animals. Assessment of animal personality...
Pets have numerous, effective methods to communicate with their human hosts. Perhaps most conspicuous of these are distress vocalizations: in cats, the ‘miaow’ and in dogs, the ‘whine’ or ‘whimper’. We compared a sample of...
The Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) recognizes that several forms of restraint, including physical and chemical, are necessary for the safe handling of nonhuman primates (NHPs). The following guidelines aim to provide information to researchers...
Cattle mother-offspring contact calls encode individual-identity information; however, it is unknown whether cattle are able to maintain individuality when vocalising to familiar conspecifics over other positively and negatively valenced farming contexts. Accordingly, we recorded 333...
In fiscal year 2016, agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats, and cattle represented 10% of the 820 812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife...
Only a handful of primate taxa use ultrasonic vocalisations (those ≥20 kHz) to communicate. The extent and uses of ultrasonic communication remain poorly understood, potentially ranging from echolocation, advertisement of reproductive status and resource availability...
Background: Neuroscience research using macaques remains fundamental in our endeavours to understand how the human brain functions. Applying the refinement principle of the 3Rs is essential to optimise the monkeys’ welfare and still produces high...
Indicators of positive emotions are still scarce and many proposed behavioural markers have proven ambiguous. Studies established a link between acoustic signals and emitter’s internal state, but few related to positive emotions and still fewer...
The aim of this study was to conduct a series of paper-based exercises in order to assess the negative (adverse) welfare impacts, if any, of common interventions on domestic horses across a broad range of...
Previous research has repeatedly shown both personality and psychological stress to predict gastrointestinal disorders and chronic diarrhea in humans. The goal of the present research was to evaluate the role of personality, as well as...
Social instability in primate groups has been used as a model to understand how social stress affects human populations. While it is well established that individual cercopithecines have different temperaments or personalities, little is known...
Individual variation in behaviour has been shown to have important ecological and evolutionary consequences. Research on animal personality has therefore received considerable attention, yet some methodological issues remain unresolved. We tested whether assessing personality by...
Adherence to basic animal welfare standards involves effective monitoring and control of pain, especially in a veterinary setting. Assessment relies on behavioral and physiological indicators. However, individual differences in physiology mediate consistent individual differences in...

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