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. 
A negative human-animal relationship (HAR) from the perspective of the animal is a limiting factor affecting farm animal welfare, as well as farm animal productivity. Research in farm animals has elucidated sequential relationships between stockperson...
Although alpacas are becoming increasingly popular animals, their behaviour towards humans has received little research interest until now. The purpose of our study was to investigate, for the first time, associations between caretaker attitudes and...
Preference testing has long been used in ethology and animal welfare science to assess the preferences that animals have for different resources and stimuli. The study conducted herein assessed the choice-making ability of five leopard...
Recent research has uncovered many complex cognitive traits and affective processes in many reptile species, such as the ability to make choices that are rewarding or pleasurable. The investigation herein was initiated after many years...
A total of 416 day-old ostrich chicks were randomly allocated to one of the three different husbandry practices for 3 months after hatch; HP1 (extensive human presence with gentle human voice, visual and gentle physical...
Positive stockperson attitudes to his or her animals is associated with a positive behavioural response in the animals and in other indicators assumed to reflect a high level of welfare as well as increased productivity...
Positive reinforcement training (PRT) is associated with increases in species-typical behavior and decreases in stereotypic and abnormal behavior in participating animals. Physiological changes following PRT, for example, increases in oxytocin (OXT) and/or decreases in cortisol...
The behaviour of new world camelids towards humans has received little research attention so far. Our aims were to assess the response of alpacas and llamas to handling, and to investigate its associations with caretaker...
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...
Guinea pigs are often involved in animal-assisted therapy (AAT) but there is little knowledge about the effects of human contact on guinea pigs involved in AAT. The aim of this study was to investigate effects...
This is a literature review of the effects of humans' relationships with farm animals on animal productivity and welfare, including the following topics: definition of the concept and description of different tests that have been...
This study aimed to assess the relationship between stockperson behavior and buffalo behavior. The research was carried out in 27 buffalo farms. The behavior of stockpeople and animals during milking and the avoidance distance at...
Interactions between zoo professionals and animals occur regularly and are believed to be enriching for animals. Little empirical information exists on how animals perceive these interactions, and particularly how the interactions affect the emotional states...
The effect of extensive human presence and regular gentle handling performed at an early age (0–3 months old) on stress responses and reactivity of juvenile ostriches towards humans was investigated. A total of 416 ostrich...
Guinea pigs are included in various animal-assisted interventions (AAIs), but no research has been published to date on behavioral changes in guinea pigs interacting with humans. The goal of this study was to evaluate the...
Social learning is the capacity of animals to acquire adaptive information from others. In the case of fear responses, animals can learn fearful or non-fearful responses by observing the behavior of conspecifics. Tonic immobility (TI)...
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...
In captive animal facilities, human staff members are a relevant part of the animals’ social environment in addition to providing care and managing the social group. Structured, predictable interactions and relaxed, spontaneous contacts may all...
This is the third volume of discussions that took place on the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF). This forum is dedicated to the exchange of personal experiences of refining the conditions under which...
Guinea pigs are difficult to oral gavage dose. Previous adverse effects from this dosing method, using rigid catheters, had caused an earlier endpoint to studies and loss of data. We therefore developed a prototype gag...
Animal care for nonhuman primates (NHPs) in biomedical facilities has undergone major changes in the past few decades. Today, most primate facilities have dedicated and highly trained animal care technicians who go to great efforts...
The discussion was started by the following questions: "Is the squeeze-back mechanism more or less stressful than the pole and collar system for removing a macaque from his cage for an IM (intramuscular) injection?" and...
The “visitor effect” problem, whether zoo visitors are stressful or enriching to zoo animals, is made difficult to analyze by numerous methodological challenges. The extremes in visitor attendance patterns during the holiday season at Disney’s...
This article provides a brief historical background of the events and circumstances that led to the 1985 Animal Welfare Act (AWA) amendments. It describes the development of the regulations promulgated by the US Department of...
Twenty-six reports provide detailed information of how primates can be trained to voluntarily cooperate - rather than resist - during blood collection, injection, topical drug application, blood pressure measurement, urine collection, and capture.

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