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. 
Here, we evaluated if visual barriers could reduce intraspecific agonism in an all-male group of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) living in a zoo. Crocodiles were monitored for nearly 100 h, and four “hotspots” of aggression...
Forming groups of captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) is a common management practice. New formations of unfamiliar macaques can be costly, with high levels of trauma, particularly as intense aggression is used to establish a...
Rhesus monkeys are naturally social animals, and behavioral management strategies have focused on promoting pairhousing in laboratory settings as an alternative to individual or group housing. In humans, co-sleeping can have a major impact on...
Social housing is one of the best forms of environmental enhancement for nonhuman primates, and current research into pair compatibility and introduction techniques focuses on improving safety and outcome. The gradual steps method (GS), which...
The YNPRC recently renovated two NHP housing areas with a novel facility design and equipped with a customized caging system that offers additional outdoor access, socialization, and enrichment opportunities for NHPs assigned to infectious disease...
This article will help those who are new to working with non-human primates. Interpreting macaque facial expressions and body behavior is important for beginning the process of pair housing two animals.
Male introductions into captive primate breeding groups can be risky and unsuccessful. However, they are necessary to prevent inbreeding in naturalistic breeding groups. The procedure used to introduce new individuals may affect the success and...
Integrating animals into a new group is a challenge for both free-ranging and captive adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), and for females in groups receiving new males. To ensure the genetic viability of the...
There are many factors that need to be considered when caring for groups of nonhuman primates (NHPs) in research, including clinical, behavioral, and scientific issues. Otherwise, there is the potential that decisions are made without...
The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) is working with industry to promote social housing during cardiovascular telemetry recordings within non-rodent safety pharmacology and toxicology studies. Following surveys...
Group size, density, and composition significantly influence the expression of agonism and, as demography is frequently manipulated in captivity, natural mechanisms of conflict management may be disrupted. Here, we examine how changes to the social...
The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...
Migration patterns of wild rhesus macaque males are often mimicked in captivity by introducing unfamiliar males to female groups every few years. This strategy prevents inbreeding and has been shown to encourage group stability once...
Understanding the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of candidate drugs in preclinical species is an integral part of the safety and efficacy evaluation in drug development. For this purpose, the housing of single animals...
In a 2018 AALAS webinar on Sheep and Goat Analgesia, Dr. Susie Vogel, a small ruminant expert, introduced the concept of getting sheep and goats to willingly take medication by putting it in a tasty...
Previous reports suggest that female macaques with greater similarity in emotionality and nervous temperament, as evaluated in a well-established BioBehavioral Assessment (BBA) at the California National Primate Research Center, were more likely to form successful...
Animal social structure is influenced by multiple socioecological factors. Of these, the links between changes to group demography through the arrival of new individuals and residents' social structure remain unclear. Across seven groups of captive...
The Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) is a solitary and naturally territorial animal, with female hamsters being more aggressive than males. This behavior makes handling difficult because they are usually housed in groups, which can lead...
When primates groom each other, they tend to concentrate on those parts of the body they cannot efficiently self-groom (i.e., not visually accessible), and prefer to intensify grooming in areas with high hair density, thus...
Sheep lameness is a major concern among farmers and policymakers with significant impacts on animal welfare standards as well as financial and production performance. The present study attempts to identify the relative importance of environmental...
Pair housing is one of the most important components of behavioral management for caged macaques; however, it can result in aggression and injury if partners are incompatible. Knowing when to proceed and when to stop...
Previous research has shown that competition, familiarity, diet, and relatedness can all influence aggregation patterns in garter snakes. We controlled for these factors and examined social aggregation patterns in juvenile Eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis...
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...
Few data are published about different ferret husbandry practices in terms of housing, enrichment, feeding, social management, and the health status of ferrets. However, these factors are crucial for animal welfare and influence animal behavior...
Primates maintain social bonds with specific individuals in the group by directing grooming toward them. Social grooming is often targeted toward individuals with whom the most benefits can be exchanged, which are usually the high-ranking...

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