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. 

Knowledge of the welfare status of wild animals is vital for informing debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. Currently, there is no published information about how to...

We explore elephant play behaviour since (a) play has been proposed to represent a potential welfare indicator; and (b) play has been associated with long-term survival in the wild. We categorised play into four types...

Rabbits are the third species in terms of number of animals reared for meat production in the world. However, in comparison to other species, very few studies have focused on their welfare. The aim of...

Recognising stress is an important component in maintaining the welfare of captive animal populations, and behavioural observation provides a rapid and non-invasive method to do this. Despite substantial testing in zoo elephants, there has been...

Despite the importance for both animal welfare and scientific integrity of effective welfare assessment in non-human primates, there has been little or no consensus as what should be assessed. A Delphi consultation process was undertaken...

Salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA) has been proposed as a potential indicator of welfare for various species, including Asian elephants, and may be related to adrenal cortisol responses. This study aimed to distinguish circadian rhythm effects...

Some captive breeding colonies of rhesus macaques live in large outdoor multimale, multifemale social groups. These groups are composed of several matrilineal families, governed by a clear female dominance hierarchy. Aggression within the same or...

The welfare status of elephants under human care has been a contentious issue for two decades or more in numerous western countries. Much effort has gone into assessing the welfare of captive elephants at individual...

Several established models in human and veterinary medicine exist to evaluate an individual health or disease status. Many of these seem unsuitable for further epidemiological research aimed at discovering underlying influential factors. As a case...

Regular body mass (BM) monitoring plays a key role in preventative health care of zoo animals. In some species, including African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), the process of weighing can be challenging...

Over the last two decades, criticisms were raised regarding the welfare experienced by elephants in European and North American zoos. Concerns regarding the welfare of zoo-housed elephants in the UK and Europe were consolidated in...

There has been much concern in recent years about the welfare of elephants in zoos across North America and Europe. While some previous studies have assessed captive elephant welfare at a particular point in time...

Measuring body surface temperature changes with infrared thermography has recently been put forward as a non-invasive alternative measure of physiological correlates of emotional reactions. In particular, the nasal region seems to be highly sensitive to...

In the past few decades, there has been an increase in the number of zoo-based touchscreen studies of animal cognition around the world. Such studies have contributed to the field of comparative cognition despite the...

The genetic and biological similarity between non-human primates and humans has ensured the continued use of primates in biomedical research where other species cannot be used. Health-monitoring programmes for non-human primates provide an approach to...

Pacing behaviour, the most frequent stereotypic behaviour displayed by laboratory rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) is often used as an indicator of stress. In this study, we investigated how reliable this welfare indicator is at detecting...

Housing primates in naturalistic groups provides social benefits relative to solitary housing. However, food intake may vary across individuals, possibly resulting in overweight and underweight individuals. Information on relative adiposity (the amount of fat tissue...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) enzyme functions as a digestive enzyme in many species that consume starch in their diet. Human studies have also revealed that sAA enzyme activity levels are positively correlated with the release of...

Activity budget comparisons between groups or individuals in the wild and those in captivity are commonly used to determine the range of wild-type behaviors that nonhuman animals in captivity perform. These comparisons are conducted with...

Cognitive bias testing measures how emotional states can affect cognitive processes, often described using the “glass half-full/half-empty” paradigm. Classical or operant conditioning is used to measure responses to ambiguous cues, and it has been reported...

Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...

Facial thermography has enabled researchers to noninvasively and continuously measure the changes of a range of emotional states in humans. The present work used this novel technology to study the effect of positive and negative...

Concerns over elephant welfare in UK zoos have implications for their future in captivity. To monitor improvements made to elephant welfare in UK zoos, non-invasive, valid and reliable indicators of welfare are needed. Using a...

Zoos are required to maintain a high standard of animal welfare, and this can be assessed using a combination of resource-based and animal-based indices usually divided into behavioural indicators, physiological indicators and clinical/pathological signs. Modern...

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