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. 
Background: Conventional methods for individually housing, training, and testing rodents in behavioral assays can impose constraints that may limit some kinds of experimental external validity, preempt environmental enrichment, impose heavy experimenter time burdens that limit...
There are instances when animals are introduced and expected to live alongside unfamiliar conspecifics within zoos, laboratories and wildlife sanctuaries. These pairings of unfamiliar animals may result in stress, trauma, or even death, in addition...
Compared to peers raised in well-resourced, 'enriched' environments (‘EE’), female laboratory mice from conventional barren cages are more aggressive to their cage-mates, and less sociable with familiar non-cage-mates (especially if these too are from conventional...
The presence of a conspecific can be calming to some species of animal during stress, a phenomenon known as social buffering. For rodents, social buffering can reduce the perception of and reaction to aversive experiences...
Forming groups of captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) is a common management practice. New formations of unfamiliar macaques can be costly, with high levels of trauma, particularly as intense aggression is used to establish a...
Precise oral dosing in rodents is usually achieved by intragastric gavage. If performed incorrectly due to technical difficulties, inexperience, or animal resistance, oral gavage may have animal welfare implications such as esophageal and gastric rupture...
Rhesus monkeys are naturally social animals, and behavioral management strategies have focused on promoting pairhousing in laboratory settings as an alternative to individual or group housing. In humans, co-sleeping can have a major impact on...
Social housing is one of the best forms of environmental enhancement for nonhuman primates, and current research into pair compatibility and introduction techniques focuses on improving safety and outcome. The gradual steps method (GS), which...
The YNPRC recently renovated two NHP housing areas with a novel facility design and equipped with a customized caging system that offers additional outdoor access, socialization, and enrichment opportunities for NHPs assigned to infectious disease...
This article will help those who are new to working with non-human primates. Interpreting macaque facial expressions and body behavior is important for beginning the process of pair housing two animals.
Modified Handling for Mice: Handling mice by gripping the base of the tail has been shown to negatively impact animal welfare by increasing anxiety and aversion to handling. We aimed to refi ne the dosing...
It is desirable to administer drugs by the least invasive route to (1) optimise welfare, (2) reduce the risk of injury to animal handlers and (3) minimise the impact of restraint and transient pain on...
Pair housing is known to promote welfare for macaques in captivity. However, finding compatible partners can be challenging, particularly when animals are not located near one another. Because macaques show interest in videos of conspecifics...
Social and environmental factors influence behavior via modulation of brain physiological functions. Environmental enrichment (EE) is an animal housing technique that provides complex sensory, motor, and social stimulation, leading to modifications in the innate aggressiveness...
A fundamental understanding of behavior is essential to improving the welfare of billions of farm animals around the world. Despite living in an environment managed by humans, farm animals are still capable of making important...
Social housing improves the well-being of monkeys in research settings; however, little is known about factors influencing the long‐term stability of established, full-contact pairs. Archival data were examined to determine whether sex, age, weight, duration...
Preclinical drug studies routinely administer experimental compounds to animal models with the goal of minimizing potential adverse events from the procedure. In this study, we assessed the ability to train adult male Long Evans rats...
Oral administration of medication to experimental animals is a cause of significant stress. When coupled to animals who are already under strenuous circumstances due to the disease being modelled, there is a significant risk for...
Laboratory rodents spend the entire day housed in standard cages that provide a restricted area for movements and might, therefore, limit physical activity. However, it has not been tested in immature rodents of ages ranging...
In laboratory animal facilities, it is a common code of practice to house female mice in groups. However, some experimental conditions require to house them individually, even though social isolation may impair their well-being. Therefore...
Individuals’ social contexts are broadly recognized to impact both their psychology and neurobiology. These effects are observed in people and in nonhuman animals who are the subjects for comparative and translational science. The social contexts...
The increased use of opioids to treat pain has led to a dramatic increase in opioid abuse. Our previous data indicate that pain may facilitate the development of opioid abuse by increasing the magnitude and...
Male introductions into captive primate breeding groups can be risky and unsuccessful. However, they are necessary to prevent inbreeding in naturalistic breeding groups. The procedure used to introduce new individuals may affect the success and...
A number of studies have provided evidence that animals, including rats, remember past episodes. However, few experiments have addressed episodic-like memory from a social perspective. In the present study, we evaluated Wistar rats in the...
Integrating animals into a new group is a challenge for both free-ranging and captive adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), and for females in groups receiving new males. To ensure the genetic viability of the...

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