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. 

Little research has been carried out into how guinea pigs are cared for in the UK, and information regarding potential welfare issues is sparse. This study was designed to examine the five welfare needs, collecting...

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...

Social grooming is often exchanged between individuals in many primate species. Rates of bidirectional (or simultaneous mutual) grooming vary across primate species, and its function is not yet fully understood. For example, mutual grooming is...

Metabolism cages are designed to conduct absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) studies, enabling an ‘excretion balance’ scientific objective to be met. Historically, the design of dog metabolism cages has involved single housing. This type...

"When you keep adult Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) males, adult Cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) males or adult Vervet males (Chlorocebus pygerythrus), in the same enclosure, is it advisable to have the canines of the males blunted...

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...

Dogs are individually housed when collecting data for ECG studies to avoid any cross talk between transmitted signals (generally for a 24 hour recording period). Each implant is set at a certain frequency which transmits...

The act of grooming has been found to greatly decrease stress, heart rate, and cortisol levels in nonhuman primates; this decrease in stress and cortisol is seen in the animal being groomed, as well as...

Social pain is the negative affect signaling threat or harm to social relationships. Loneliness is perceived social isolation and can be found across phylogeny. Evidence from diverse fields demonstrates an overlap of social and physical...

Guinea pig pups produce typical distress whistles when isolated. Whistles’ frequency is decreased or abolished when they contact with the mother and, to a lesser degree, a sibling or even an unfamiliar female, is regained...

This paper describes the use of a validated quality of life assessment tool (described elsewhere) to identify environmental and management factors that may affect quality of life in dogs kennelled in rehoming centres. Dogs were...

The study of laboratory animal behavior has increased steadily over the last decade, with expanding emphasis on a variety of commonly used species. In the United States, this trend was initially focused on species for...

Dogs (Canis familiaris) are a highly social species and within a shelter environment pair-housing is recommended to prevent the stress associated with social isolation. Separation of individuals which may have formed bonds in this environment...

The standard microisolation caging for guinea pigs, Cavia porcellus, allows for group housing up to a combined weight of 350 g. However, as mandated by the USDA, research facilities must socially house guinea pigs with...

Canis familiarisis a highly social species. Among the social relationships between two individuals, a particular case is represented by attachment bonds. The aim of the current study was to assess whether the bond between adult...

Keeping shelter dogs in groups provides them with a more socially and physically enriched environment, but eventually it may cause them stress. Understanding dogs' communication could help shelter staff recognize and prevent undesirable communicative patterns...

Kenneled environments often prevent direct physical contact between dogs, potentially causing stress, and so it has been recommended that such contact should be provided. This study examined the effect of familiarity on the behavior of...

Primates are notable for having a rich and detailed understanding of their social environment and there has been great interest in the evolution and function of social knowledge in primates. Indeed, primates have been shown...

This is the third volume of discussions that took place on the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF). This forum is dedicated to the exchange of personal experiences of refining the conditions under which...

We analyzed our current enrichment protocols in order to develop and implement social experiences for our rabbit and guinea pig colonies. This article describes the development of an exercise pen for rabbits and a custom-made...

The ideal animal model would contribute no confounding variables in experimental science. Variables affect experimental design resulting in increased animal use or repeated studies. We demonstrated a simple refinement which may reduce the number of...

This review will examine how individual differences in temperament might affect, or be affected by, behavioral management practices for captive primates. Measuring temperament may help us predict the outcome of social introductions. It can also...

Lean management-based visual tools have been used to improve the quality of animal care associated with a complex research study involving immune-compromised cynomolgus monkeys (M. fascicularis) in various postsurgical recovery states. In order to effectively...

There is a general consensus among those studying the welfare of captive primates that social housing is the most effective means for promoting psychological well-being. It is well established that socially-housed rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)...

In captive research environments for nonhuman primates (NHP), social housing strategies are often in conflict with protocols designed to minimize disease transmission. This is particularly true in breeding colonies, and is especially relevant when attempting...

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