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. 
Snake ownership is popular; however, housing and care may not always satisfy the animal's welfare needs. For example, snakes are often kept in environmental conditions that restrict their ability to stretch out fully or move...
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...
Zebrafish, like all fish species, use sound to learn about their environment. Thus, human-generated (anthropogenic) sound added to the environment has the potential to disrupt the detection of biologically relevant sounds, alter behavior, impact fitness...
In conclusion, the investigations carried out up to now demonstrate that during the early stages fish show high sensitivity to many types of stressors involving an array of responses to overcome alterations that could affect...
This study investigated the effect of 4-d acute thermal treatments at 18 °C, 26 °C (control) and 34 °C on the nervous system of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) using a multidisciplinary approach based on behavioural...
Horse practitioners have difficulties with undesirable behaviors exhibited by their horses (Equus caballus), such as cribbing, weaving, or head shaking. It has been suggested that most of behavioral disorders originate from the animals’ attempt to...
Bedding materials affect stable air hygiene, and thus the development and exacerbation of equine asthma. There is limited knowledge concerning the effects of different types of bedding material on equine lower airway inflammation. The objective...
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...
The article describes the care of the Olive python (Liasis olivaceus) including information on housing, feeding, handling, as well as the general health care of these animals. Some of the information presented is derived from...
The horse’s welfare and, consequently, the emotional arousal may be connected with stressful environmental conditions. This study aimed to determine whether horses show behavioural or physiological symptoms of thermal discomfort and if their behaviour and...
Various pharmaceutical products have been derived from horse blood and urine for over a century. Production of biologics and therapeutics from these samples is a niche industry and often occurs in regions with little regulation...
Every animal species has particular environmental requirements that are essential for its welfare, and when these so-called “basic needs” are not fulfilled, the animals suffer. The basic needs of horses have been claimed to be...
The satisfaction of leisure horses’ behavioral needs has begun to be considered a priority, linked to the awareness that horses kept in single boxes may be deprived of social contact and the possibility to perform...
Zebrafish are an increasingly popular model organism in many aspects of animal research; however, some aspects of their husbandry needs are quite disparate from that which most lab animal technicians are trained. Possibly the most...
Although most chameleon species can be challenging captives, C. calyptratus have been successfully kept and bred in captivity for over thirty years. Despite their relative familiarity, our challenge is to replicate their preferred habitats in...
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...
Sleep is crucial to horses’ wellbeing, and their lying time can vary according to such factors as climate, exercise, bedding, and housing. This study aimed to analyze behavior and time spent in lying halls of...
Despite no significant difference in wounding between bachelor and mixed-sex groups of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in zoological settings, anecdotal concerns around the frequency and severity of wounding in bachelor groups have perpetuated...
Small, tropical fish are popular companion animals and constitute a major proportion of the vertebrates used in scientific research, but little is known about how they are affected by routine husbandry practices. Manual tank cleanings...
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...
Animal-based measures are the measure of choice in animal welfare assessment protocols as they can often be applied completely independently to the housing or production system employed. Although there has been a small body of...
The aim of this work is to investigate the effect of a temperature increase on the behaviour of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) maintained for 21 days at 34 °C (treatment) and 26 °C (control). The temperatures chosen...

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