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. 
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...
Animal personality, the consistent between-individual differences in e.g., risk-taking, exploration, antipredator or mating behaviours, has major impacts on the fitness of individuals in many species. Understanding how to quantify animal personality should help us predicting...
Food grinding, or chewing food without ingestion, is a topic of interest in the laboratory animal community. In addition to increased effort needed to deal with this excess waste and provide suitable microenvironment for animals...
‘Crunching’ is the term often used to describe the abnormal behaviour of mice that habitually crunch their pelleted diet, causing substrate levels to rise as the crumbs settle on the cage floor ultimately burying the...
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...
Injurious home-cage aggression (fighting) in mice affects both animal welfare and scientific validity. It is arguably the most common potentially preventable morbidity in mouse facilities. Existing literature on mouse aggression almost exclusively examines territorial aggression...
Stereotypical behaviours (SBs) are abnormal, repetitive behaviours often observed in captivity. SBs are linked to impoverished captive conditions, and stereotypic individuals show a particular set of behaviours (e.g. bolder personality, greater activity) indicating proactive coping...
Personality, defined as consistent between-individual variation in clusters of behavioral traits independent of factors such as age or sex, emerges in most animal species tested so far. The number of invertebrate species discovered to have...
This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...
Abnormal behavior occurs in a number of captive nonhuman primate species and is often used as an indicator of welfare. However, reported levels of abnormal behavior often vary across species, making general welfare judgments difficult...
The field of primate behavior management has had only limited success in preventing and treating abnormal behaviors, such as stereotypy and self‐injury, in captive non‐human primates (NHP). In contrast, applied behavior analysts have had great...
This comment is in response to a recent review of stereotypical behavior in captive exotic animals (Rose et al., 2017). Negative stereotypical behavior occurs across most if not all taxa, including notable aquatic invertebrates. A...
Cognitive processes are influenced by underlying affective states, and tests of cognitive bias have recently been developed to assess the valence of affective states in animals. These tests are based on the fact that individuals...
Stereotypies are abnormal repetitive behaviour patterns that are highly prevalent in laboratory mice and are thought to reflect impaired welfare. Thus, they are associated with impaired behavioural inhibition and may also reflect negative affective states...
Environmental enrichment is used to enhance the well-being of captive animals and to prevent or reduce stereotypic and other abnormal behaviours. However, environmental enrichment does not always succeed in its intended purpose. We investigated whether...
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...
Stereotypic behaviours (SBs) are linked with behavioural inflexibility and resemble symptoms of autism, suggesting that stereotypic animals could have autistic-like social impairments. SBs are also common in caged mice. We therefore hypothesised relationships between stereotypic...
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...
Some laboratory mice gnaw food pellets without ingesting much of the gnawed material, resulting in the production of waste material called orts. The fact that this food grinding behavior is not seen in all individuals...
Some laboratory mice gnaw food pellets without ingesting much of the gnawed material, resulting in the production of waste material. The fact that this food grinding behavior is not seen in all individuals of a...
While clinical reptile medicine as a science is in its ascendancy among veterinary surgeons and other interested groups, familiarity with the often related issue of reptilian behavioural and psychological health appears less common. Behavioural change...
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...
Stereotypic behaviors are repetitive invariant behaviors that are common in many captive species and potentially indicate compromised welfare and suitability as research subjects. Adult laboratory mice commonly perform stereotypic bar-gnawing, route-tracing, and back-flipping, although great...
Barbering (incessant grooming) is an abnormal behavior causing alopecia and commonly affects various strains of laboratory mice, including C57BL/6J. Barbering-induced alopecia is a potential symptom of brain impairment and can indicate a stressful environment. We...
In management of laboratory animals, wet bedding created by mice and abnormal fur in mice cause problems on housing, leading to negative effects both on the wellbeing of mice and on the validity of experimental...

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