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. 
Decisions about which foods to use during training and enrichment for captive animals may be based on invalid assumptions about individuals’ preferences. It is important to assess the stability of food preferences given that one-time...
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...
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...
Blood sampling through the caudal vasculature is a widely used technique in fish biology for investigating organismal health and physiology. In live fishes, it can provide a quick, easy and relatively non‐invasive method for obtaining...
Training nonhuman primates (NHPs) to perform cognitive tasks is essential for many neuroscientific investigations, yet laboratory training is a time-consuming process with inherent limitations. Habituating NHPs to the laboratory staff and experimental equipment can take...
Recent scientific evidence for fish sentience has stressed the need for novel sentience-based detection tools of fish welfare impairment in commercial farms. In order to mimic a well-characterised stress situation, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were...
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 Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) recognizes that CSF collection may be required for both clinical and research purposes in nonhuman primates (NHP). Because there are inherent risks associated with the technique, the laboratory animal...
Adopting a social science perspective and qualitative methodology on the problem of laboratory fish welfare, this paper examines some underlying social factors and drivers that influence thinking, priorities and implementation of fish welfare initiatives and...
Animals come in a huge array of types, species and structures, but without realizing it, we have focused our care on those like us, mammals. They look something like us, so it's easy to empathize...
Preference testing has many benefits, informing both applied management decisions and theoretical questions. We developed a preference‐testing method in which subjects are shown pairs of photographs of food items on a touchscreen in a forced‐choice...
Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss were infiltrated with either saline or lidocaine adjacent to the dorsal fin to assess histopathological changes. Infiltration was done as if it were being used as a local anaesthetic. Tissue lesions...
The ability to quickly and accurately determine cortisol as a biomarker for stress is a valuable tool in assessing the wellbeing of NHP. In this study, 2 methods of collecting saliva (a commercial collection device...
Gorilla Pathology and Health: With a Catalogue of Preserved Materials consists of two cross-referenced parts. The first, the book itself, is a review of pathological changes and tissue responses in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla and G...
Minimizing the number of animals in regulatory toxicity studies while achieving study objectives to support the development of future medicines contributes to good scientific and ethical practices. Recent advances in technology have enabled the development...
In modern zoos, training should be an integral component of the animal care and management. The benefits of training include the opportunity for positive interactions with caretakers. This study was carried out with a group...
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...
Abnormal behavior, ranging from motor stereotypies to self‐injurious behavior, has been documented in captive nonhuman primates, with risk factors including nursery rearing, single housing, and veterinary procedures. Much of this research has focused on macaque...
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...
In the last decade several surveys of primate care and training programs highlight a common theme; despite scientific evidence that animal training can be effective in reducing stress, increasing efficiency and improving veterinary care, animal...
Nonhuman primates in research environments experience regular stressors that have the potential to alter physiology and brain function, which in turn can confound some types of research studies. Operant conditioning techniques such as positive reinforcement...
This review will examine how individual differences in temperament might affect, or be affected by, behavioral management practices for captive primates. Measuring temperament may help us predict the outcome of social introductions. It can also...
To enhance the psychological well-being of non-human primates, many biomedical facilities use positivereinforcement training (PRT) techniques to encourage voluntary participation in husbandry and clinical procedures.PRT increases the animal?s control over its environment and desensitizes the...
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...

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