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...
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...
A retrospective statistical study has been performed in order to identify the biological, clinical and behavioural variables that could potentially predict the survival status of irradiated non-human primates (NHP) and to refine the future use...
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...
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...
Myxoma virus is a member of Leporipoxviridae whose tropism is tightly restricted to lagomorphs. In susceptible Oryctolagus rabbits, the virus causes a highly lethal disease known as myxomatosis, which begins as a localized infection but...
Aquatic vertebrates and cephalopods, amphibians, reptiles, and birds offer unique safety and occupational health challenges for laboratory animal personnel. This paper discusses environmental, handling, and zoonotic concerns associated with these species.
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...
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...
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)...
The discussion was started by the following questions: "Is the squeeze-back mechanism more or less stressful than the pole and collar system for removing a macaque from his cage for an IM (intramuscular) injection?" and...
The pole and collar method enables safe transfer of a monkey from their home environment to a restraint chair without sedation. The ability to conduct procedures with a conscious and cooperative subject is cost effective...
The ability to provide permanent group-housed caging for nonhuman primates involved in toxicology research is quickly becoming an important step in improving the overall quality of life for these animals. This type of caging offers...
COST Action B-24 established four working groups to research and discuss issues relevant to laboratory animal science. These included the housing of animals, environmental needs, refinement of procedures, genetically modified animals, and cost-benefit analysis. Based...
While strictly using positive reinforcement and applying patient gentle-firmness, most macaques can be trained to cooperate during the pole-attachment-chairing procedure. Some cannot be trained, because they have problems overcoming their often-legitimate mistrust of humans.
Captive rhesus macaques are not intrinsically aggressive, but poor husbandry and handling practices can trigger their aggression towards conspecifics and towards the human handler. The statement 'rhesus macaques are so aggressive animals' is probably based...
The prevailing housing and handling conditions of monkeys in research institutions is described. The present situation in primate research laboratories strongly suggests that professional judgment is no guarantee that the inhumane housing and handling conditions...
A survey of 75 biomedical articles dealing with stress-dependent blood parameters in caged primates revealed that the conditions under which blood collection occurred were in most cases [72%] described either not at all or so...
Twenty-six reports provide detailed information of how primates can be trained to voluntarily cooperate - rather than resist - during blood collection, injection, topical drug application, blood pressure measurement, urine collection, and capture.

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