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. 
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...
Medications often require studies performed in sexually mature cynomolgus macaques. At this time, there are few options available to confirm sexual maturity in male macaques. Electroejaculation and collection of seminal fluid are invasive and require...
Although triplet litters are increasing in captive colonies of common marmosets, parents can rarely rear more than two infants without human intervention. There is however much evidence that early life experience, including separation from the...
Contraception is an important population control method for the colony management of primates housed in captivity. Etonogestrel (ENG) implants (i.e., Implanon®) are a widely used progestin-based contraceptive in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) with the theoretical...
The use of medical imaging as a non-invasive or minimally invasive method to assess disease or treatment response continues to grow. A similar trend is observed in pre-clinical research, in general, and more specifically in...
Managing social groups in zoos requires controlling reproduction in individuals that do not have a current breeding recommendation, while simultaneously maintaining social harmony and animal well-being. Contraceptives, such as gonadotropin releasing-hormone (GnRH) agonists, that suppress...
Imaging is used in human medicine to diagnose disease and monitor treatment efficacy. Computed tomography (CT) positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) are applied to animal models of infectious diseases to increase data...
Female lambs have a stronger attachment with their mothers and show a greater susceptibility to stressors than male lambs. Male lambs grow faster than female lambs do, achieving a greater nutritional independence from their mothers...
The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...
The weekend effect hypothesis proposes that captive primates are more likely to give birth during times of low disturbance and reduced staff activity. The hypothesis specifically predicts that laboratory‐housed primates will be more likely to...
OBJECTIVE To determine long-term outcome for rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with endometriosis that underwent surgical treatment and identify factors potentially associated with long-term outcome. DESIGN Retrospective case series. ANIMALS 11 female rhesus macaques. PROCEDURES Medical...
Because tetanus can cause significant morbidity and mortality in NHP, colonywide vaccination with tetanus toxoid is recommended for outdoor breeding colonies of rhesus macaques, with primary immunizations commonly given to infants at 6 mo of...
The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...
Introductions of new males into captive primate groups are often necessary to prevent inbreeding, but also bear high social risks. To minimize these risks, it is crucial to understand the social behaviour accompanying male introductions...
Providing social housing for adult male macaques can be challenging. One successful strategy for long-term social housing of adult male macaques is to pair them with adult females; however, unwanted breeding must be prevented by...
Because rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) are prolific breeders, overpopulation can be problematic in both research and feral populations. Currently, the most effective contraceptive methods are hormonal control in female macaques and vasectomies in males. These...
Many oviparous animals construct well-designed nests to provide relatively favourable conditions for their eggs and hatchlings, but the direct evidence that nest structure can determine their reproductive success is insufficient. In the present study, we...
Here we describe a case of pseudopregnancy in a New Zealand White rabbit as a result of pair housing with an aggressive conspecific. Clinical signs included fur pulling and nest building that developed shortly after...
The success of breeding primates in captivity has led to a surplus number of animals in collections. This review examines published journals and key books to investigate the various methods of primate population control. Hormonal...
In recent years, the use of hormonal contraception in captive, free-ranging, and wild mammal populations has increased, but the effects on these nonhuman animals’ behavior and the associated welfare impacts remain poorly understood. This study...
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...
Rhesus macaques in their natural environments, as well as in the free-ranging colony at Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico are highly seasonal breeders. Many animal species lose breeding seasonality when brought under captive conditions. The present...
On Swiss rabbit breeding farms, group-housed does are usually kept singly for 12 days around parturition to avoid pseudogravidity, double litters and deleterious fighting for nests. After this isolation phase there is usually an integration...
Forming successful groups of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) can be challenging. Males in particular do not always get along, and some need to be permanently removed due to fighting and trauma. Early rearing condition may...
Successful housing requires knowledge of ferret behaviors including social behavior, eating habits, a general inquisitive nature, and a species-typical need to burrow and hide. Regular handling is necessary to maintain well-being. A ferret health care...

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