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. 

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...

In semi-natural mixed-sex groups, rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) organize their social life by forming a hierarchy, which is characterized by linearity and stability. Compared to the natural environment, many factors are different in contemporary breeding systems...

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...

Many animal species cooperate with conspecifics in various social contexts. While ultimate causes of cooperation are being studied extensively, its proximate causes, particularly endocrine mechanisms, have received comparatively little attention. Here, we present a study...

Primates maintain social bonds with specific individuals in the group by directing grooming toward them. Social grooming is often targeted toward individuals with whom the most benefits can be exchanged, which are usually the high-ranking...

Access to limited resources may be achieved by dominance as well as by high rates of aggressive and affiliative behaviour. We investigated the relative effectiveness of dominance rank and aggressive and affiliative behaviour in accessing...

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...

Nonhuman primate gestures are believed to be crucial evolutionary precursors of human language. Comparative studies on primate gestures in an evolutionary framework have, however, remained largely restricted to the great apes and the potential flexibility...

Laboratory mice (Mus musculus) are typically housed in simple cages consisting of one open space. These standard cages may thwart mouse ability to segregate resting areas from areas where they eliminate, a behaviour that is...

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...

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 typical daily water intake of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) in a research setting has not been well characterized. Because these New World primates are in demand as animal models for neurobehavioral experiments, which can...

Many comparative studies have focused on the emergence of solitary and social play in early development, however, few consider observer and parallel forms of play. In this study, we analyzed approximately 21 h of video recordings...

Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...

Covering species-typical behavior as well as abnormal/malfunctional behavior and stereotypes observed in mice, rats, hamsters and gerbils, this is an excellent resource for those looking to implement or enhance an existing behavioral husbandry and enrichment...

Object play in primates is viewed as generally having no immediate functional purpose, limited for the most part to immature individuals. At the proximate level, the occurrence of object play in immatures is regarded as...

Nest building is one of the innate behaviors that are widely observed throughout the animal kingdom. Previous studies have reported specific brain regions and genetic loci associated with nest building in mice. These studies mainly...

Housing laboratory primates in large pens can improve welfare by providing ample opportunity to express normal social and locomotor behaviors. This type of housing, however, can present great challenges in terms of manipulating animals for...

House mice (Mus musculus) pose a threat to the native flora and fauna on islands, and can cause significant damage wherever they have been introduced. Methods used to eradicate invasive rodents, like house mice, at...

To promote the psychological well-being of captive non-human primates, facilities develop and implement an environmental enhancement plan (Animal Welfare Act, Section 3.81). Enrichment options described in the plan should be selected to demonstrably promote species-typical...

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...

The eighth edition of The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals establishes social housing as the "default" for social species including non-human primates. The advantages of social housing for primates have been...

Captive groups of primates often exhibit higher rates of aggression than wild, free-ranging groups. It is important to determine which factors influence aggression in captivity because aggression, particularly intense aggression, can be harmful to animal...

Although the use of wild-born primates in research is banned in some countries, in others it is commonplace. It has been demonstrated that not only do wild-born primates react more strongly to some stressors than...

In the wild, many primates consume gums exuded from trees, and many species are gum specialists. In spite of this, few data exist concerning gum feeding in captivity. Using a web-based survey of 46 zoos...

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