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. 
Abnormal behaviours are often used as a welfare indicator in zoo-housed great apes. While previous studies report on the occurrence of abnormal behaviours in zoo-housed chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), there is currently a lack of knowledge...
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...
Appropriate end-points are integral to the refinement of laboratory animal experiments. Our recent experience has highlighted that ambiguity around end-points is hampering their adoption in experiments that cause severe suffering to fish. In toxicology, the...
Providing a natural diet is a key component to improving animal welfare and potentially reducing stereotypic behaviours in captivity. Wild slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.) are threatened by illegal wildlife trade, and in Thailand, confiscations from...
Fur-chewing is a common problem in chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera). It may affect the welfare of animals due to heat loss, thereby possibly impacting food and water intake to maintain body temperature. In this context, infrared...
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...
Stereotypies (a subset of Abnormal Repetitive Behaviour [ARB]) are characterised by an unchanging pattern of behaviour and in captive animals can be associated with poor welfare. Although well known in certain taxa, little is known...
The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...
Hair plucking is observed in many captive primate species and is often characterized as an abnormal behavior. However, this behavior may be both self-directed and social and may have different etiologies. Early research in captive...
This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...
Given the difficulties of conducting regular endocrine and veterinary assessments of animals, behavioural observations are often the most commonly used tool to assess the welfare of animals in human care. Behavioural measures, inexpensive and convenient...
The 2011 European Union Zoo Inquiry presented evidence that most zoos fail to achieve adequate levels of nonhuman animal welfare. Appropriate environmental enrichment (EE) can play a role in the promotion of welfare. However, financial...
When primates exhibit hair loss and are observed to engage in self or social hair plucking (a rapid jerking away of the hair shaft and follicle by the hand or mouth, often accompanied by inspection...
The illegal wildlife trade, especially of live animals, is a major threat to slow lorises. Large numbers of confiscated slow lorises are sent to rescue facilities. We aimed to describe the occurrence and types of...
Abnormal behavior occurs in a number of captive nonhuman primate species and is often used as an indicator of welfare. However, reported levels of abnormal behavior often vary across species, making general welfare judgments difficult...
Guinea pigs are a commonly used model for tuberculosis vaccine research. Loss of body weight is the most frequently described humane endpoint for animals used in these studies. During a chronic study, we noted labored...
Myxoma virus is a member of Leporipoxviridae whose tropism is tightly restricted to lagomorphs. In susceptible Oryctolagus rabbits, the virus causes a highly lethal disease known as myxomatosis, which begins as a localized infection but...
Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...
The field of primate behavior management has had only limited success in preventing and treating abnormal behaviors, such as stereotypy and self‐injury, in captive non‐human primates (NHP). In contrast, applied behavior analysts have had great...
This comment is in response to a recent review of stereotypical behavior in captive exotic animals (Rose et al., 2017). Negative stereotypical behavior occurs across most if not all taxa, including notable aquatic invertebrates. A...
Hair plucking has been observed in many captive primate species, including the great apes; however, the etiology of this behavioral pattern is poorly understood. While this behavior has not been reported in wild apes, an...
Fur chewing is a behavioral disorder frequently reported in chinchillas kept for fur-farming purposes. Rodents kept in barren cages usually develop some form of abnormal repetitive behavior, which can indicate a past or present welfare...
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...
The influence of several factors on abnormal behaviour was investigated in 46 singly housed sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) (eight nursery-reared, 38 mother-reared), including self-injurious, self-directed, stereotypic locomotion, and faeces/urine-related behaviours (SIB, SDB, SL, FUR, respectively)...
Biotelemetry can contribute towards reducing animal numbers and suffering in disciplines including physiology, pharmacology and behavioural research. However, the technique can also cause harm to animals, making biotelemetry a ‘refinement that needs refining’. Current welfare...

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