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 volume reviews the broad topic of welfare in nonhuman primates under human care. Chapters detail the history of primates in captivity, ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of nonhuman primates as entertainment or...

Endotracheal intubation in rabbits is challenging and supraglottic airway devices, such as laryngeal masks (LMA), represent an alternative as they are easy to insert, and do not stimulate the larynx requiring therefore a lighter plane...

Promoting good primate welfare outside of daylight hours is an important task. The responsibility to provide a complex environment and environmental enrichment is an essential element of primate wellbeing programs that should be approached from...

Curiosity—the motivation to seek out information—has been studied widely across the animal kingdom. To investigate curiosity in zebrafish we presented 30 novel objects to groups of zebrafish housed in semi-naturalistic tanks (6 tanks; 10 fish/tank...

Zebrafish is a valuable model for neuroscience research, but the housing conditions to which it is exposed daily may be impairing its welfare status. The use of environmental enrichment and the refinement of methodology for...

The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of environmental enrichment for Eublepharis macularius depending on the maintenance method (terrarium vs. rack system). The hypothesis was that reptiles kept in an extremely low-stimulus...

Environmental enrichment in zebrafish generally reduces anxiety-related behaviours, improves learning in maze trials and increases health and biological fitness. However, certain types of enrichment or certain conditions induce the opposite effects. Therefore, it is essential...

Input of different spectral types of photoreceptors in amphibian colour vision has been assessed by studying the behaviour of male toads Bufo bufo and B. gargarizans in a laboratory. This method is based on the...

Sea turtles perform various ecological services in several marine environments and are considered architects of the marine landscape. At present, they are endangered species due to anthropogenic threats, pollution and degradation of marine habitats. These...

Decisions about which foods to use during training and enrichment for captive animals may be based on invalid assumptions about individuals’ preferences. It is important to assess the stability of food preferences given that one-time...

For animals undergoing rehabilitation it is vital to monitor welfare in a way that is feasible, practical, and limits stress to the animal. The industry gold standard is to assess welfare under the Five Domains...

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) constitute a useful model for studying memory function and impairment in vertebrates and are now widely used in translational research. On the one hand, the adoption of simple, fast and reliable tests...

General anesthesia as used for rodent research can have adverse effects on physiologic mechanisms. Thermoregulation is often greatly inhibited, with resultant deleterious effects on cardiac and respiratory function. These potential effects can be mitigated by...

Providing novel and creative enrichments for nonhuman primates improves their mental wellbeing and is thus an important aspect of all husbandry programs. These enrichments are often presented through variations in diet, toys, and environmental features...

This traditional snack has a variety of options for NHP enrichment. From fruit to cereals, get creative with the “ants” and remember to consider different fillings for the celery log.

This study aimed to determine whether tank enrichment improved positive species-specific behaviors (those that benefit the animals' overall well-being), such as basking, and/or decreased negative behaviors (those that may indicate stress, agitation, or discomfort), such...

To improve animal welfare in collective park housing systems, this study assessed the effects of the provision of gnawing hay blocks and the group composition (F: females, M: males, FM: mixed sex) on performance, behavior...

Rabbits are frequently used as surgical models in research. However, studies assessing the effects of various hair removal methods on wound healing and surgical site infection (SSI) in rabbits are sparse. Here we evaluated the...

The re-release of golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia), from zoos into the wild, is considered to be an ex situ conservation success story. However, zoo-born golden lion tamarins have lower survival rates than their wild-born...

Information on fish preference for environmental conditions can be a useful tool to offer them what they want, an important requirement for welfare purposes. Giving that such an approach deals with psychological states of the...

Enrichment devices are important tools to engage zoo-housed animals in species-specific natural behaviours, which is critical to ensure animal welfare. The gelada Theropithecus gelada has a unique graminivorous feeding ecology, yet there is minimal enrichment...

Many wild animals perform hiding behaviours for a variety of reasons, such as evading predators or other conspecifics. Unlike their wild counterparts, farmed animals often live in relatively barren environments without the opportunity to hide...

During the author's 37 years as Curator of Horticulture, Dublin Zoo transformed from an almost Victorian appearance to a verdant green ark. A progressive masterplan focused on animal welfare and themed habitats reflects the spirit...

The environmental enrichment needs of snakes are often disregarded. Using preference testing, we aimed to shed light on the enrichment preferences of a popular pet species, the western hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus). Snakes’ enclosures were...

An increasing number of laboratories utilize zebrafish as this species is now represented in practically every subfield of biology research. Environmental enrichment has been shown to improve welfare and health of a large number of...

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