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. 

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...

The serval (Leptailurus serval) is a small African felid that is well represented in zoos and often serves as an animal ambassador in encounter programs with zoo visitors. The impact on serval welfare in relation...

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...

In comparison to non-human animals, humans are highly flexible in cooperative tasks, which may be a result of their ability to understand a partner’s role in such interactions. Here, we tested if wolves and dogs...

Achieving and maintaining high standards of animal welfare is critical to the success of a modern zoo. Research has shown that an animal's welfare is highly dependent on how various individual animal factors (e.g., species...

This ethical discourse specifically deals with dilemmas encountered within zoological institutions, namely for the concept of natural living, and a new term—wilding. It is agreed by some that zoos are not ethically wrong in principle...

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...

As recorded in domestic nonhuman animals, regular interactions between animals in zoos and keepers and the resulting relationship formed (human– animal relationship [HAR]) are likely to influence the animals’ behaviors with associated welfare consequences. HAR...

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...

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...

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...

Some human-animal relationships can be so positive that they confer emotional well-being to both partners and can thus be viewed as bonds. In this study, 130 delegates at zoo research and training events completed questionnaires...

Animal care for nonhuman primates (NHPs) in biomedical facilities has undergone major changes in the past few decades. Today, most primate facilities have dedicated and highly trained animal care technicians who go to great efforts...

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...

Environmental enrichment strategies are used to improve both the physiological and psychological welfare of captive animals, which can be achieved by increasing the expression of natural behaviour and decreasing abnormal behaviours. Examples of successful environmental...

Positive reinforcement training is one component of behavioural management employed to improve psychological well-being. There has been regulatory promotion to compensate for restricted social housing in part by providing human interaction to singly caged primates...

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 report sets out how to provide: optimal enclosure characteristicsand size; social housing; solid flooring and substrate; raised areas; refuges; gnawing objects and dietary enrichment; positive interaction with humans; toys and objects to manipulate; for...

Live, direct observations are often used to collect behavioral data. However, the presence of an observer may affect the behavior of unhabituated subjects. This study was conducted to determine the effect of an observer’s presence...

This article provides a brief historical background of the events and circumstances that led to the 1985 Animal Welfare Act (AWA) amendments. It describes the development of the regulations promulgated by the US Department of...

Because of the influence in behaviour, we can say that visitors are a kind of environmental enrichment. .... Sometimes visitors have a negative effect (increase of aggressive behaviour, begging for food) and in some cases...

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.

Several years of experience with pair housing of previously single-caged adult rhesus macaques and venipuncture in the home cage of cooperative, non-resisting animals lead the author to conclude that rhesus macaques are not as aggressive...

To promote the well-being of previously single-caged adult (older than 5 years) rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and the quality of research done with them, the following environmental enhancement plan has been developed and implemented at...

This paper will attempt to show the marked improvement in behaviour of a small group of female cynomolgus monkeys, after a period of routine training and human interaction. A relatively short, but predictable, course of...

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