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. 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) used in behavioural neuroscience are often required to complete cognitively complex tasks, for which a high level of motivation is essential. To induce motivation, researchers may implement fluid-restriction protocols, whereby freely...

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...

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...

Training nonhuman primates (NHPs) to perform cognitive tasks is essential for many neuroscientific investigations, yet laboratory training is a time-consuming process with inherent limitations. Habituating NHPs to the laboratory staff and experimental equipment can take...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Some primates express fear of or avoid interaction with humans, including accepting food. Counter‐conditioning training designed to reduce fear and increase the acceptance of food from a person's hand can reduce the stress an animal...

The use of systematic preference assessments can enhance positive reinforcement training with captive animals. We found that the multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) technique identified food preferences in laboratory housed rhesus macaques, with raisins and...

For humans and for non-human primates heart rate is a reliable indicator of an individual’s current physiological state, with applications ranging from health checks to experimental studies of cognitive and emotional state. In humans, changes...

There can be psychological and physiological consequences resulting from nursery rearing rhesus macaques. To reduce the need for nursery rearing, orphaned infants are often placed with lactating foster mothers. Unfortunately, a supply of these lactating...

Gastritis is a commonly diagnosed condition in non-human primates used in biomedical research. As in humans, Helicobacter pylori infection may cause gastritis. The following report presents a method of non-invasive detection and a successful treatment...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 1 November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh and was attended by 70 delegates. Presentation topics included refinements in blood sampling rodents...

Macaques are often motivated to perform in neuroscientific experiments by implementing fluid restriction protocols. Daily access to water is controlled and the monkeys are rewarded with droplets of fluid for performing correct trials in the...

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