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. 

In conclusion, the investigations carried out up to now demonstrate that during the early stages fish show high sensitivity to many types of stressors involving an array of responses to overcome alterations that could affect...

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...

Positive reinforcement training (PRT) is associated with increases in species-typical behavior and decreases in stereotypic and abnormal behavior in participating animals. Physiological changes following PRT, for example, increases in oxytocin (OXT) and/or decreases in cortisol...

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...

Pet rabbit welfare is a hidden crisis: Inappropriately housed, fed, and not routinely provided healthcare—rabbits can often suffer painful conditions and shortened lifespans. This study provides novel understanding of owners’ perceptions of rabbits’ mental capabilities...

Traditional laboratory caging for nonhuman primates is typically configured in a 2-tiered manner, with caging arranged in 2 horizontal rows stacked vertically. Studies of the effects of cage row have yielded inconsistent results with respect...

Interactions between zoo professionals and animals occur regularly and are believed to be enriching for animals. Little empirical information exists on how animals perceive these interactions, and particularly how the interactions affect the emotional states...

This article describes the rehoming of 10 laboratory female rabbits now living as a group in a private shelter.

The marmoset, a type of small monkey native to South America, is a research model of increasing importance for biomedical research in the United States and globally. Marmosets offer a range of advantages as animal...

Adopting a social science perspective and qualitative methodology on the problem of laboratory fish welfare, this paper examines some underlying social factors and drivers that influence thinking, priorities and implementation of fish welfare initiatives and...

Animals come in a huge array of types, species and structures, but without realizing it, we have focused our care on those like us, mammals. They look something like us, so it's easy to empathize...

NHP are a small, but critical, portion of the animals studied in research laboratories. Many NHP are imported or raised at one facility and subsequently moved to another facility for research purposes. To improve our...

The aim of this study was to assess hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that were subjected to relocation and surgery to evaluate HPA-axis activity; in addition, we used this marker...

Some husbandry procedures may be perceived as aversive by cage‐housed rhesus macaques. We assessed whether providing feeding enrichment by hand as opposed to placing it on a caging surface decreases anxiety responses to daily husbandry...

One challenge in providing enrichment to NHP arises following completion of their assigned studies (retired) when there tends to be a sudden decrease in provision of daily human interaction and overall stimulation that results from...

Nonhuman primates from domestic sources constitute a small, but critical, proportion of animals studied in research laboratories. Many of these nonhuman primates are raised at one facility and subsequently transported/relocated to another facility for research...

To investigate how long relocation modified hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits, 19 rabbits were subjected to a change in their breeding facility at the beginning of the trial and then were kept...

The level of glucocorticoids, especially if obtained from noninvasive sampling, can be used as an index of animal well-being, allowing evaluation of the animal’s response to environmental modifications. Despite evidence that these hormones play a...

Marmota monax is a valuable laboratory animal species used in studies of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), food intake, obesity, hibernation, and circannual cycles. This article describes the woodchuck’s (also known as groundhog) natural behavior and...

There is a general consensus that perinatal experiences help to shape infant behavior; however, relatively little is known about the effects of prenatal experience on postnatal phenotype in non‐human primates. The current study sought to...

This chapter traces the integration of macaques as experimental organisms for polio in Norway during the 1960s and 1970s. Investigating the integration of macaque monkeys helps to craft an understanding of how political and scientific...

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...

For anyone who has housed rabbits in an artificial plastic environment, what to provide as a nonfood enrichment can be an issue. Nonfood enrichment, or environmental enrichment, can be any toy, engaging sights or sounds...

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...

In captive animal facilities, human staff members are a relevant part of the animals’ social environment in addition to providing care and managing the social group. Structured, predictable interactions and relaxed, spontaneous contacts may all...

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