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. 

It is sometimes essential to have an animal in the hand to study some of their ecological and biological characteristics. However, capturing a solitary, cryptic, elusive arboreal species such as the red panda in the...

Despite the widely used application of standardized capture-handling protocols to collect blood and assess the physiological stress response, the actual sampling design (e.g., timing and the number of blood samples) often differs between studies, and...

Research in ecology and wildlife biology remains crucial for increasing our knowledge and improving species management and conservation in the midst of the current biodiversity crisis. However, obtaining information on population status often involves invasive...

All capture methods impose animal welfare impacts, but these impacts are rarely quantified or reported. We present data from two wildlife capture studies that trialled new methods for capturing Bennett’s wallabies (Notamacropus rufogriseus) and red...

Horses kept for meat production are reared in intensive breeding farms. We employed a checklist adapted from the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) assessment protocol. Our evaluation aims to assess whether welfare indicators are influenced by...

Horses reared for meat production can be kept in intensive breeding farms where they are housed in group pens at high stocking densities. The present study aimed to evaluate whether the expressed behaviours correlated with...

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...

In fiscal year 2016, agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats, and cattle represented 10% of the 820 812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife...

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...

The aim of this study was to conduct a series of paper-based exercises in order to assess the negative (adverse) welfare impacts, if any, of common interventions on domestic horses across a broad range of...

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...

When engaging in procedures that horses may find aversive, restraint methods are often used to help ensure safety of both horse and handler. Twitching is a common restraint method, but its use is sometimes considered...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 aim of the experiment was to study the effects of cage density (1, 3 and 5 rabbits per cage) and sex (male and female) on stress parameters of young rabbits. A total of 90...

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.

This article provides details to consider when preparing to use animals in biomedical research. The stress of transport and receipt of animals into a new environment mandate the need for a period of stabilization and...

Non-human primates (NHPs) are utilized frequently in biomedical research and can be difficult and sometimes dangerous to handle. Because of this, restraint is sometimes necessary for data collection. Restraint chair training is generally a straightforward...

The use of "pre-invasive" implantable radio telemetry has revolutionized the collection of physiological data under stress-free conditions. It is now possible to measure accurately 'normal' baseline data of haemodynamic and electrical parameters in conscious and...

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.

Published information provides scientific evidence that traditional, involuntary restraint techniques of research non-human primates are intrinsically a source of distress resulting from fear. It has been documented that common methods of enforced restraint result in...

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