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. 
Stress during handling can negatively impact the welfare of an animal. Gradual habituation or systematic desensitisation can reduce this but is not always possible. Blindfolding has been shown to decrease stress indicators, including heart rate...
Members of the North American 3Rs Collaborative (NA3RsC) refinement initiative have chosen to summarize developments in five hot topics of interest: 1. Tips for welfare-friendly transport, chairing, and restraint; 2. Guidance on refining food and...
Long-term, multi-institutional assessments have become a reliable tool for evaluating patterns of wounding in zoo-living primates, with results informing on best practices for species-specific care protocols and population management strategies. For western lowland gorillas (Gorilla...
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...
Collaborative semen collection in monkeys is a valuable tool in research, animal collection management, and conservation efforts. To obtain samples, monkeys are often restrained in open restraint chairs (ORC) with the “pole and collar” technique...
Rabbits are popular companion animals. There are numerous welfare issues affecting the majority of the population, including the fact that most rabbits are fearful when handled. Pet Remedy ™ (Unex Designs) is an herbal product...
The impact of behavioural disorders on animal welfare in modern animal husbandry has been much debated. While other abnormal behaviours have been explored at length, there are a paucity of studies on tail-biting in rabbits...
The Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) recognizes that several forms of restraint, including physical and chemical, are necessary for the safe handling of nonhuman primates (NHPs). The following guidelines aim to provide information to researchers...
Neurophysiologic studies of NHP commonly involve their transfer from a housing enclosure to a laboratory by using a mobile chair. This transfer should be performed in a manner that is safe and minimizes stress for...
Background: Neuroscience research using macaques remains fundamental in our endeavours to understand how the human brain functions. Applying the refinement principle of the 3Rs is essential to optimise the monkeys’ welfare and still produces high...
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...
Specifically designed restraint chairs are the preferred method of restraint for research studies that require NHP to sit in place for sustained periods of time. In light of increasing emphasis on refinement of restraint to...
Specific positioning for different imaging modalities is essential in our small animal imaging core. While we have different animal holders designed to position the animal inside the MRI, additional securing of the animal to the...
The pole-and-collar method is one of several techniques that enable the safe transfer of a nonhuman primate from its home environment into a restraint chair without the need for sedation. It has been used within...
Medical care of nonhuman primates in a laboratory setting can be challenging due to the safety concerns inherent in handling conscious animals. A mature, adult male cynomolgus macaque presented with a chronic foot condition that...
Rabbit hypnosis or “trancing” was a common restraint technique used for minor procedures such as: nail clipping, tooth trimming, eye exams, and subcutaneous injections. In years past the technique was originally used on pet rabbits...
The authors describe various methods of handling and restraining rabbits, and propose that while many methods are appropriate, rabbits respond better if only one method is used consistently.
Traditional procedures for training nonhuman primates to be restrained in chairs typically involve very little use of positive reinforcement. In this talk, we detail a refined chair training procedure which uses a mix of positive...
The three main divisions of 'marmosetcare.com' aim respectively to promote: an understanding of the range of behaviour in this species, placing this behaviour in the context of its natural habitat and promoting good welfare in...
Physiologic stress has been demonstrated to impair glucose tolerance and insulin action. In the present study, we examined whether glucose tolerance is influenced by restraint stress. Studies were designed using female cynomolgus monkeys (3.2 to...
Cynomolgus monkeys are acclimated in-house during their 4- to 5-wk quarantine period to pole and collar chair restraint to facilitate safe handling and adequate immobility for study procedures like oral gavage and blood collection. Acclimation...
Traditional techniques used to capture New World monkeys, such as net capture, can induce high levels of acute stress detrimental to welfare. Alternatively, training nonhuman animals via operant conditioning to voluntarily participate in husbandry and/or...
Routine laboratory procedures can be stressful for laboratory animals. We wanted to determine whether human handling of adult rabbits could induce a degree of habituation, reducing stress and facilitating research-related manipulation. To this end, adult...
The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group holds a one-day meeting every autumn so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on rodent welfare issues and share experiences of the implementation of the 3Rs...
At the Oregon National Primate Research Center, we train animals to enter transfer boxes using positive reinforcement training (PRT), a type of training in which the trainer reinforces desired behaviors (such asentering the transfer box)...

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