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. 
This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...
The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...
The study of human–animal interactions has provided insights into the welfare of many species. To date, however, research has largely focused on human relationships with captive mammals, with relatively little exploration of interactions between humans...
In the recent past, animal welfare studies have tried to determine the best animal welfare measures and indicators. Expression of behavioural diversity is considered a potential positive welfare indicator, and to the authors’ knowledge, it...
Questionnaires are very useful tools when it comes to assessing zoo based animal measures and caretakers of these animals (such as keepers, trainers and veterinarians) are in the best position to provide accurate answers to...
This research focused on different aspects of play behavior including ethogram, ontogeny, and individual differences, in one male and one female captive bottlenose dolphin calves (Tursiops truncatus) from November 2003 to June 2004. We presented...
Wildlife research has been indispensable for increasing our insight into ecosystem functioning as well as for designing effective conservation measures under the currently high rates of biodiversity loss. Genetic and genomic analyses might be able...
Some common practices in aquaculture, ornamental trade and fish facilities may disturb the behavioural repertoire of fish and its natural adaptive value, reducing welfare and impairing fish production. Hence, it is necessary to understand fish...
Accredited zoological facilities are committed to fully understanding the behavioral, mental, and physical needs of each species to continuously improve the welfare of the animals under their professional care and detect when welfare has diminished...
In this book Stephanie Hedges draws on more than 20 years as a practicing veterinary nurse and her training as a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB). She provides a quick reference and practically relevant canine...
Orcas are large, deep-diving cetaceans who are known for their global distribution, wide-ranging behavior, intelligence, and social complexity. They possess one of the largest and most complex brains in the mammalian kingdom. However, they are...
While non-human primate studies have long been conducted in laboratories, and more recently at zoological parks, sanctuaries are increasingly considered a viable setting for research. Accredited sanctuaries in non-range countries house thousands of primates formerly...
This article describes the biology, husbandry, and care of Siamese fighting fish (also known as the betta fish) at Columbia University.
Dominance hierarchies can reduce conflict within social groups and agonistic signals can help to establish and maintain these hierarchies. Behaviours produced by subordinates in response to aggression are often assumed to function as signals of...
Model fish species such as sticklebacks and zebrafish are frequently used in studies that require DNA to be collected from live animals. This is typically achieved by fin clipping, a procedure that is simple and...
Modern day zoos and aquariums continuously assess the welfare of their animals and use evidence to make informed management decisions. Historically, many of the indicators of animal welfare used to assess the collection are negative...
Stingrays play a key role in the regulation of nearshore ecosystems. However, their movement ecology in high-energy surf areas remains largely unknown due to the notorious difficulties in conducting research in these environments. Using a...
The assessment of personality in farm animals and its relation to other behavioural and physiological traits is of growing scientific and practical interest. Therefore, the aims of the present study were first to assess the...
Fish welfare is still a relatively new field. As such, regulations and protocols to ensure fish welfare are currently limited and vary considerably in different jurisdictions. This is in part because of the ongoing controversy...
In this study we tested the use of mucus from five species of Neotropical marine batoid elasmobranchs to extract genomic DNA for barcoding and phylogenetic analysis. The DNA from all individuals sampled was successfully amplified...
This article describes the importance of providing laboratory animals with opportunities to engage in play, and provides a few practical ideas for how to do this.
The effects of social hierarchies (dominant/subordinate individuals), such as aggressiveness, feeding order, and territoriality, are some of the characteristics used for describing fish behaviour. Social hierarchy patterns are still poorly understood in European-reared sea bass...
The past few decades have seen a burgeoning of scientific studies on great apes’ use of nests for sleeping in the wild, as well as their nesting behavior and sleep in captivity. We review recent...
The management of socially complex species in captivity is challenging. Research on their social behavior improves our understanding of interactions in captive animals and captive-group management. We conducted a detailed analysis of social relationships shown...
The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of different enrichments in various enclosures in a gibbon rehabilitation centre in the northeast of India. The results show a greater interaction with the feeding...

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