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. 
Long-term, multi-institutional assessments have become a reliable tool for evaluating patterns of wounding in zoo-living primates, with results informing on best practices for species-specific care protocols and population management strategies. For western lowland gorillas (Gorilla...
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...
While non-human primate studies have long been conducted in laboratories, and more recently at zoological parks, sanctuaries are increasingly considered a viable setting for research. Accredited sanctuaries in non-range countries house thousands of primates formerly...
This article describes the importance of providing laboratory animals with opportunities to engage in play, and provides a few practical ideas for how to do this.
The past few decades have seen a burgeoning of scientific studies on great apes’ use of nests for sleeping in the wild, as well as their nesting behavior and sleep in captivity. We review recent...
Orang-utans are the largest mainly arboreal animal: wild orang-utans rarely come to the forest floor. In contrast, the locomotion behaviour of captive orang-utans encompasses more time on the ground and they spend less time on...
The degree to which the relatively smaller area of artificial environments (compared with natural habitats) has measureable effects on the behavior and welfare of captive animals has been debated for many years. While there is...
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...
In the wild, many primates consume gums exuded from trees, and many species are gum specialists. In spite of this, few data exist concerning gum feeding in captivity. Using a web-based survey of 46 zoos...
There are potential advantages of housing primates in mixed species exhibits for both the visiting public and the primates themselves. If the primates naturally associate in the wild, it may be more educational and enjoyable...
Adding a few minutes of positive human interaction per animal per week to the management of captive gorillas resulted in improved well-being in several areas: the drop in abnormal behaviours, behaviours directed at the public...
An ethological understanding of a behavioral phenomenon incorporates four levels of explanation: development, mechanism, function, and evolution. The phenomenon of socially-mediated learning has garnered a great deal of attention from ethologists, prominently including primatologists. Gregarious...
In this article, laws and guidelines relating to rodent enrichment are reviewed, the natural behaviors of select rodent species are discussed, and an overview of widely used types of enrichment in laboratory rodent management is...
It is important that all females of a new [heterosexual] group are related to each other, that is, that they come from the same natal group. The introduction of unfamiliar females to a small group...
A semi-natural habitat that was designed to house a group of squirrel monkeys is described. Animals maintained in this environment were healthy, and none of the animals exhibited locomotor stereotypies. This facility was easier and...
A heavy metal cylinder, 60 cm long and 45 cm in diameter, was capped on each end and bolted to a platform. Three 8 cm holes in the cylinder allowed access to the inside. A...

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