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. 
In a captive environment, it is challenging to ensure the highest level of social and psychological well-being for species with naturally complex social organizations and structures. There is a growing need to meet the social...
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...
The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...
Laboratory Animal Professionals experience many positive and rewarding interactions when caring for and working with research animals. However, these professionals also may experience conflicting feelings and exhaustion when the work is stressful due to factors...
We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the association between euthanasia and compassion fatigue among employees working in animal research at a large academic medical center. In summary, animal research workers who euthanize animals reported...
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...
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...
Domestic animals often seek and enjoy interacting with humans. Positive human–animal relationships can elicit positive emotions and other positive welfare outcomes. Nevertheless, our understanding of the underlying processes that govern the positive perception of humans...
Physiotherapy can be used to treat an animal following surgery, to help correcting abnormal gait and for treating tendon, bone or ligament damage. […] Of course, an animal can’t just be given a set of...
The question of 'if and how captive primates are affected by visitors' has gained increasing attention over the last decades. Although the majority reported undesirable effects on behavior and wellbeing, many studies reported contradicting results...
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 actions of human caretakers strongly influence animals living under human care. Here, we consider how intentional and unintentional signals provided by caretakers can inform our assessment of animals' well-being as well as help to...
Human body odors contain chemosignals that make species-specific communication possible. Interspecies communication studies were conducted on dogs and horses subjected to human chemosignals produced in happiness and fear emotional states. Dogs showed behaviors consistent with...
This review is designed to assist both individuals and organizations involved in animal-based research to understand and appreciate the importance and potential risks of compassion fatigue and euthanasia stress. We reviewed current literature regarding compassion...
Oxytocin has been well researched in association with psychological variables and is widely accepted as a key modulator of human social behaviour. Previous work indicates involvement of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)...
We investigated the attitudes of veterinary students towards animals and their welfare in Italy. Regression analyses revealed predictors that are significant in differentiating students’ scoring tendency based on their gender, familiarity, and intention to work...
Attitudes to animals are linked to beliefs about their ability to experience pain and suffering, their cognition, and their sentience. Education and awareness-raising play a pivotal role in increasing society’s consideration of non-human animal welfare...
Veterinary students face several ethical challenges during their curriculum. We used the Animal Ethics Dilemma to study animal ethical views of Finnish veterinary students, and also asked them to score the level of pain perception...
Standards and policies intended to safeguard nonhuman animal welfare, whether in zoos, farms, or laboratories, have tended to emphasize features of the physical environment. However, research has now made it clear that very different welfare...
Literary fiction has been credited with considerable power to improve attitudes toward outgroups. It was even argued that it has been an important factor behind the global decline of violence against various minorities in the...
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...
One aspect of maintaining and updating an environmental enrichment program is regular review of enrichment devices and their current uses. The review includes maintaining an accurate inventory to reflect the animal census, evaluating species-specific use...
Captivity often limits a primate’s ability to make meaningful choices on a daily basis. Effective captive (behavioral) management programs should provide primates with opportunities to make meaningful choices. In the present study, arthritic chimpanzees were...
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...

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