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. 

While non-human primate studies have long been conducted in laboratories, and more recently at zoological parks, sanctuaries are increasingly considered a viable setting for research. Accredited sanctuaries in non-range countries house thousands of primates formerly...

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...

Relocating laboratory animal research from one animal facility room to another in advance of major renovations can be a daunting task for scientists and animal care personnel alike. This is especially so regarding controlled lighting...

Many animal species cooperate with conspecifics in various social contexts. While ultimate causes of cooperation are being studied extensively, its proximate causes, particularly endocrine mechanisms, have received comparatively little attention. Here, we present a study...

In semi-natural mixed-sex groups, rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) organize their social life by forming a hierarchy, which is characterized by linearity and stability. Compared to the natural environment, many factors are different in contemporary breeding systems...

Primates maintain social bonds with specific individuals in the group by directing grooming toward them. Social grooming is often targeted toward individuals with whom the most benefits can be exchanged, which are usually the high-ranking...

Plasma lipid and glucose levels are important parameters for evaluating the onset and development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. In clinical and experimental studies of humans or mice, fasting is often required before testing plasma...

Color perception and color signaling play an important role in various aspects of animal behavior. However, in mammals, trichromatic vision characterized by three retinal photopigments tuned to peak short, middle and long wavelengths is limited...

Access to limited resources may be achieved by dominance as well as by high rates of aggressive and affiliative behaviour. We investigated the relative effectiveness of dominance rank and aggressive and affiliative behaviour in accessing...

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...

This article describes the importance of providing laboratory animals with opportunities to engage in play, and provides a few practical ideas for how to do this.

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...

The typical daily water intake of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) in a research setting has not been well characterized. Because these New World primates are in demand as animal models for neurobehavioral experiments, which can...

The behavioral patterns of Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) housed individually and in same-sex groups (siblings) were characterized. Gerbils were continuously video-recorded 24 hours (day 1) and 120 hours (day 5) after housing conditions were established...

Nonhuman primate gestures are believed to be crucial evolutionary precursors of human language. Comparative studies on primate gestures in an evolutionary framework have, however, remained largely restricted to the great apes and the potential flexibility...

Previous observational research of captive rhesus macaques suggests that higher coefficients of relatedness within matrilines are associated with lower rates of severe within‐matriline aggression and more cohesive grooming communities. We tested whether experimental removals targeted...

The Infant Primate Research Laboratory at the Washington National Primate Research Center incorporates a number of rearing techniques aimed at assuring the welfare and enhancing behavioral outcomes for infants reared in the nursery. We recently...

Rabbits are known to be finicky about food and will reject it based upon several factors: odor, texture, form, or method of presentation. It can be an even greater challenge to get rabbits to eat...

Determining the effects of the macroenvironment on the welfare of nonhuman primates can help identify their needs and guide their behavioral management. We evaluated the behavior of 37 adult male rhesus macaques in two housing...

Social separation is an increasingly used strategy to experimentally assess psychogenic stress in nonhuman primates, yet it is also inherently required for captive management. Surprisingly, little is known on the effects of an individual left...

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...

The influence of early rearing experiences on infants’ social and neuroendocrine development is well characterized. However, little is known about the effects of nursery rearing (NR) on the infants’ mothers. Such information is important in...

Non-human primates participating in neurophysiological research are exposed to potentially stressful experimental procedures, such as dietary control protocols, surgical implants and their maintenance, or social separation during training and experimental session. Here, we investigated the...

Nursery rearing (NR) as an experimental manipulation has informed our understanding of the basic bio‐behavioral mechanisms of development. Nursery rearing also occurs for clinical support of infants that fail to thrive or are rejected by...

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...

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