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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

There has been increased recognition of the 3Rs in laboratory animal management over the last decade, including improvements in animal handling and housing. For example, positive reinforcement is now more widely used to encourage primates...

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...

Training techniques that prepare laboratory animals to participate in testing via cooperation are useful tools that have the potential to benefit animal wellbeing. Understanding how animals systematically vary in their cooperative training trajectories will help...

Training techniques that prepare laboratory animals to participate in testing via cooperation are useful tools that have the potential to benefit animal wellbeing. Understanding how animals systematically vary in their cooperative training trajectories will help...

When training animals, time is sometimes a limiting factor hampering the use of positive reinforcement training (PRT) exclusively. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a combination of negative and positive...

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...

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...

Housing laboratory primates in large pens can improve welfare by providing ample opportunity to express normal social and locomotor behaviors. This type of housing, however, can present great challenges in terms of manipulating animals for...

This is the third volume of discussions that took place on the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF). This forum is dedicated to the exchange of personal experiences of refining the conditions under which...

We have successfully trained with a laser pointer at least one cyno in each pair/group to target to their lixits. Currently this stands at about 35 cages housing a total of 63 animals. We no...

Through the use of operant conditioning methods, that is, clicker training, it is possible to train nonhuman primates to check their automatic watering system. Primate species not indicated. We will detail a training study.

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...

Animal training programs are used at many animal facilities to refine human-animal interactions. While there is a strong focus on positive reinforcement training (PRT) over negative reinforcement training (NRT) or punishment, animals vary in responsiveness...

Positive reinforcement training (PRT) methods can be applied to gain the voluntary cooperation of laboratory primates with the collection of biological samples. Information will be provided on training techniques used and the amount of training...

Research has shown animals are sensitive to environment changes and novel caretakers. The behavioral response to environmental change is often expressed as a decrease in willingness to comply or perform learned tasks. We assessed the...

There are many benefits of positive reinforcement training (PRT). PRT reduces stress for subjects and as such is a significant refinement to animal care practices. However, training can be time intensive, and not all animals...

This review will examine how individual differences in temperament might affect, or be affected by, behavioral management practices for captive primates. Measuring temperament may help us predict the outcome of social introductions. It can also...

In the last decade several surveys of primate care and training programs highlight a common theme; despite scientific evidence that animal training can be effective in reducing stress, increasing efficiency and improving veterinary care, animal...

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