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. 

Several established models in human and veterinary medicine exist to evaluate an individual health or disease status. Many of these seem unsuitable for further epidemiological research aimed at discovering underlying influential factors. As a case...

Regular body mass (BM) monitoring plays a key role in preventative health care of zoo animals. In some species, including African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), the process of weighing can be challenging...

A common goal of captive animal institutions is to create environments that allow for the most naturalistic behavior from their animals. Behavioral data is often used as a measure of how an animal is thriving...

Knowledge of the welfare status of wild animals is vital for informing debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. Currently, there is no published information about how to...

We explore elephant play behaviour since (a) play has been proposed to represent a potential welfare indicator; and (b) play has been associated with long-term survival in the wild. We categorised play into four types...

Recognising stress is an important component in maintaining the welfare of captive animal populations, and behavioural observation provides a rapid and non-invasive method to do this. Despite substantial testing in zoo elephants, there has been...

Salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA) has been proposed as a potential indicator of welfare for various species, including Asian elephants, and may be related to adrenal cortisol responses. This study aimed to distinguish circadian rhythm effects...

The welfare status of elephants under human care has been a contentious issue for two decades or more in numerous western countries. Much effort has gone into assessing the welfare of captive elephants at individual...

To ensure that captive breeding and other associated programs are more robust and sustainable, it is of utmost importance to ensure optimum welfare. Although it is well known that standard welfare is crucial for successful...

There has been much concern in recent years about the welfare of elephants in zoos across North America and Europe. While some previous studies have assessed captive elephant welfare at a particular point in time...

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...

The longevity of zoo animals is increasing due to continuous improvement in husbandry and veterinary medicine. However, increasing age is correlated to a higher prevalence of neoplasia. Despite tremendous improvement in diagnoses and monitoring capacities...

In the past few decades, there has been an increase in the number of zoo-based touchscreen studies of animal cognition around the world. Such studies have contributed to the field of comparative cognition despite the...

There is a lack of protocols specifically developed for the assessment of welfare of wild animals in captivity, even when it is known that providing good standards of welfare is important. The aim of this...

Concerns over elephant welfare in UK zoos have implications for their future in captivity. To monitor improvements made to elephant welfare in UK zoos, non-invasive, valid and reliable indicators of welfare are needed. Using a...

Zoos are required to maintain a high standard of animal welfare, and this can be assessed using a combination of resource-based and animal-based indices usually divided into behavioural indicators, physiological indicators and clinical/pathological signs. Modern...

Cognitive bias testing measures how emotional states can affect cognitive processes, often described using the “glass half-full/half-empty” paradigm. Classical or operant conditioning is used to measure responses to ambiguous cues, and it has been reported...

Resettlement projects of the strongly threatened European bison (Bison bonasus) require a monitoring phase to assess both population status and habitat quality. Schemes of animal body condition scores (BCS) are robust tools to meet this...

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 lion (Panthera leo) is an iconic resident of zoos and wild animal parks throughout the world. Regular assessment of the morbidity of captive lions is necessary to address wellness concerns and improve the healthcare...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 1 November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh and was attended by 70 delegates. Presentation topics included refinements in blood sampling rodents...

Screening for metabolic-related health problems can enhance animal welfare, so the purpose of this study was to conduct the first metabolic health assessment of zoo elephants and use epidemiological methods to determine how factors in...

The ability to predict regular events can be adaptive for nonhuman animals living in an otherwise unpredictable environment. Animals may exhibit behavioral changes preceding a predictable event; such changes reflect anticipatory behavior. Anticipatory behavior is...

This is a report of a one-day meeting jointly convened by the RSPCA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which brought together around 70 researchers, veterinarians, animal technologists, regulators and others with an...

Recent concerns over the welfare of elephants in UK zoos have implications for their future in captivity, and it is clear that improvements in welfare should be made. Evidence suggests that the knowledge of experienced...

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