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. 

The study of human–animal interactions has provided insights into the welfare of many species. To date, however, research has largely focused on human relationships with captive mammals, with relatively little exploration of interactions between humans...

Fish are widely used in scientific research, and many species are bred for ornamental purposes and human consumption. Despite the large number of fish kept in captivity, research on the welfare of these animals has...

Little research has been carried out into how guinea pigs are cared for in the UK, and information regarding potential welfare issues is sparse. This study was designed to examine the five welfare needs, collecting...

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...

Husbandry procedures may cause behavioral and physiological changes to animals living in captivity. However, an individual’s reaction is not uniform and may be related to different coping strategies. In this study, we analyzed whether and...

Dominance hierarchies can reduce conflict within social groups and agonistic signals can help to establish and maintain these hierarchies. Behaviours produced by subordinates in response to aggression are often assumed to function as signals of...

Stereotypies are frequently associated with sub-optimal captive environments and are used as welfare indicators. However, susceptibility to stereotypy can vary across individuals of the same group. As such, identifying which individuals are more susceptible to...

Available literature indicates that fish are able to recognize familiar conspecifics and that familiarity may offer important benefits (e.g. more stable social environment, improved foraging behavior, growth, survival). In the practice of intensive rearing of...

This open access book is a printed edition of the Special Issue on Welfare of Cultured and Experimental Fishes that was published in the journal Fishes. The PDF is free for download.

The effects of social hierarchies (dominant/subordinate individuals), such as aggressiveness, feeding order, and territoriality, are some of the characteristics used for describing fish behaviour. Social hierarchy patterns are still poorly understood in European-reared sea bass...

"When you keep adult Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) males, adult Cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) males or adult Vervet males (Chlorocebus pygerythrus), in the same enclosure, is it advisable to have the canines of the males blunted...

Changes in aquatic environments can affect fish behavior. Water renewal, for example, can dilute chemical signals, which are a social communication tool used by some fish species, and this dilution increases aggressive interactions in the...

Individual responses, particularly based on personality, can have important consequences for individual fitness, based upon success in exploring new habitats, feeding on novel foods, and aggressiveness in competitive interactions. We conducted laboratory experiments to analyze...

Endotracheal intubation of laboratory animals is a common procedure shared by several research fields for different purposes, such as mechanical ventilation of anaesthetized animals, instillation of cytotoxic nanoparticles, infectious agents or tumour cells for induction...

The act of grooming has been found to greatly decrease stress, heart rate, and cortisol levels in nonhuman primates; this decrease in stress and cortisol is seen in the animal being groomed, as well as...

Social-rearing environment has profound effects on behaviour, physiology and development. A complex social environment enhances an individual's social skills and competence in many animal taxa. Consequently, complete social deprivation seriously impairs various aspects of behaviour...

Animal personalities are ubiquitous across the animal kingdom and have been shown both to influence individual behaviour in the social context and to be affected by it. However, little attention has been paid to possible...

Many fish spend a large part of their life in groups. The size of the group influences potential costs and benefits of group living, and depending on context a fish may prefer different group sizes...

There are few studies investigating captive conditions for commonly kept public aquaria species. Here the thornback ray (Raja clavata) was used to determine preferred captive conditions via choice tests and behavioural observations. Substrate type, substrate...

Guinea pig pups produce typical distress whistles when isolated. Whistles’ frequency is decreased or abolished when they contact with the mother and, to a lesser degree, a sibling or even an unfamiliar female, is regained...

In variable environments, animals can learn to alter their behavior to adjust to changes. Sometimes, however, this learning ability can be impaired. For example, challenges in the social or physical environment can trigger physiological responses...

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 standard microisolation caging for guinea pigs, Cavia porcellus, allows for group housing up to a combined weight of 350 g. However, as mandated by the USDA, research facilities must socially house guinea pigs with...

Living in groups is a widespread phenomenon in many animal taxa. The reduction of predation risk is thought to be an important cause for the formation of groups. Consequently, grouping behavior is particularly pronounced during...

Primates are notable for having a rich and detailed understanding of their social environment and there has been great interest in the evolution and function of social knowledge in primates. Indeed, primates have been shown...

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