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. 

Long-term, multi-institutional assessments have become a reliable tool for evaluating patterns of wounding in zoo-living primates, with results informing on best practices for species-specific care protocols and population management strategies. For western lowland gorillas (Gorilla...

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...

Captive primates require environmental enrichment to minimize physical and mental stress. However, only a few objective evaluations have been performed to assess environment-induced physiological variations in these animals. In this study, we evaluated the usage...

The assessment and understanding of Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Elimination (ADME) for new pharmaceuticals is required in regulatory submissions. Typically, ADME studies are conducted using metabolism cages designed for the single housing of animals to...

Responses to stress are unavoidable, adaptive mechanisms in humans and non-human animals. However, in humans, chronic stress has been linked to poor health outcomes and early mortality. Allostatic load, the physiologic dysregulation that occurs when...

While non-human primate studies have long been conducted in laboratories, and more recently at zoological parks, sanctuaries are increasingly considered a viable setting for research. Accredited sanctuaries in non-range countries house thousands of primates formerly...

Wild chimpanzees frequently make arboreal nests, while wild lowland gorillas typically nest on the ground. We aimed to understand whether zoo-housed apes’ use of elevated spaces for retiring similarly differed between species and across exhibits...

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...

Over 18 mo, adult female pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) housed at a breeding facility in Arizona were monitored every 6 mo for alopecia. The study period coincided with the movement of a majority of animals...

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...

The past few decades have seen a burgeoning of scientific studies on great apes’ use of nests for sleeping in the wild, as well as their nesting behavior and sleep in captivity. We review recent...

Effective environmental enrichment is used by animals, promotes species-typical behavior, and decreases abnormal behavior. Porches attached to the front of an animal's cage provide additional space, perching opportunities, and a better view of the surroundings...

Effective environmental enrichment encourages usage, promotes species‐typical behaviors, and/or decreases abnormal behaviors. Porches are small cages that attach to the primary cage of an animal to provide additional space and a better view of the...

Social housing is always preferred in the research environment; however, single housing is sometimes necessitated by scientific objectives or social incompatibility. In these cases, other environmental enhancements are developed to provide indirect social interactions. We...

The provision of adequate space for laboratory animals is essential not only for good welfare but accurate studies. For example, housing conditions for primates used in biomedical research may negatively affect welfare and thus the...

As chimpanzees are retired from research, enclosures such as the Primadomes™ become available for repurposing for other monkey species. However, modifications are necessary to meet specific monkey species needs, and considerations for animal handling and...

The degree to which the relatively smaller area of artificial environments (compared with natural habitats) has measureable effects on the behavior and welfare of captive animals has been debated for many years. While there is...

Monkeys first arrived in the Comparative Biology Centre (CBC) at Newcastle University in 2000. They were housed in three small separate units consisting of steel and wooden cages. In 2011 a decision was made to...

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...

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...

The goal of this project was to evaluate the efficacy of a porch in decreasing feces painting in captive rhesus macaques. The porch is a small extension that is hung on the outside of a...

Visual barriers have been shown to be valuable environmental components of nonhuman primate housing to break visual contact between conspecifics as well as between primates and their human keepers. The effect of visual barriers can...

Cognitive abilities likely evolved in response to specific environmental and social challenges and are therefore expected to be specialized for the life history of each species. Specialized cognitive abilities may be most readily engaged under...

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...

Captive rhesus macaques sometimes exhibit undesirable abnormal behaviors, such as motor stereotypic behavior (MSB) and self-abuse. Many risk factors for these behaviors have been identified but the list is far from comprehensive, and large individual...

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