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. 

The research community is committed to improving the well-being of nonhuman primates by providing opportunities to express species-specific behaviors such as foraging. In the wild, macaques spend a large part of their day foraging; this...

Members of the North American 3Rs Collaborative (NA3RsC) refinement initiative have chosen to summarize developments in five hot topics of interest: 1. Tips for welfare-friendly transport, chairing, and restraint; 2. Guidance on refining food and...

This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...

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...

Bodyweight is an important health and welfare indicator for captive non-human primates (NHPs). Bodyweight can be measured during routine handling procedures, which cause stress. Alternatively, animals can be trained to step onto a scale, but...

Managing social groups in zoos requires controlling reproduction in individuals that do not have a current breeding recommendation, while simultaneously maintaining social harmony and animal well-being. Contraceptives, such as gonadotropin releasing-hormone (GnRH) agonists, that suppress...

Color perception and color signaling play an important role in various aspects of animal behavior. However, in mammals, trichromatic vision characterized by three retinal photopigments tuned to peak short, middle and long wavelengths is limited...

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...

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...

Traditional laboratory caging for nonhuman primates is typically configured in a 2-tiered manner, with caging arranged in 2 horizontal rows stacked vertically. Studies of the effects of cage row have yielded inconsistent results with respect...

The typical daily water intake of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) in a research setting has not been well characterized. Because these New World primates are in demand as animal models for neurobehavioral experiments, which can...

The marmoset, a type of small monkey native to South America, is a research model of increasing importance for biomedical research in the United States and globally. Marmosets offer a range of advantages as animal...

Non-human primates participating in neurophysiological research are exposed to potentially stressful experimental procedures, such as dietary control protocols, surgical implants and their maintenance, or social separation during training and experimental session. Here, we investigated the...

Marmoset wasting syndrome (MWS) describes a series of symptoms in callitrichids that lead to general weakness and a failure to thrive in captive conditions such as zoological institutions. Though the cause of MWS has not...

Environmental enrichment is often advocated to refine animal studies. Despite the increasing use of ferrets as an animal model in biomedical research, the knowledge on effects of the provision of enrichment on these animals is...

Social separation is an increasingly used strategy to experimentally assess psychogenic stress in nonhuman primates, yet it is also inherently required for captive management. Surprisingly, little is known on the effects of an individual left...

Previous research has repeatedly shown both personality and psychological stress to predict gastrointestinal disorders and chronic diarrhea in humans. The goal of the present research was to evaluate the role of personality, as well as...

Social instability in primate groups has been used as a model to understand how social stress affects human populations. While it is well established that individual cercopithecines have different temperaments or personalities, little is known...

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...

The influence of early rearing experiences on infants’ social and neuroendocrine development is well characterized. However, little is known about the effects of nursery rearing (NR) on the infants’ mothers. Such information is important in...

The Infant Primate Research Laboratory at the Washington National Primate Research Center incorporates a number of rearing techniques aimed at assuring the welfare and enhancing behavioral outcomes for infants reared in the nursery. We recently...

A variety of clinical and research scenarios require nursery rearing of infant macaques. Nursery rearing practices vary across institutions and are conducted with a range of personnel and facility resources. Caretakers, veterinarians, research and behavioral...

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...

Two nursery rearing strategies for infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were compared to measure effects on abnormal and fear‐related behavior. Changes made from the standard nursery‐rearing procedures (SN) included earlier exposure to peers, frequent peer‐group...

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