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...
Every animal species has particular environmental requirements that are essential for its welfare, and when these so-called “basic needs” are not fulfilled, the animals suffer. The basic needs of horses have been claimed to be...
Behavioural diversity may serve as a positive indicator of animal welfare that can be applied in long-term monitoring schemes in managed settings (eg zoos, laboratories, farms). Behavioural diversity is often higher when animals live in...
Despite their diffusion worldwide, many aspects of donkeys’ behaviour and cognitive abilities are still poorly understood and overshadowed by a corpus of commonplaces. The possibility of better knowing this species is of key relevance for...
When primates groom each other, they tend to concentrate on those parts of the body they cannot efficiently self-groom (i.e., not visually accessible), and prefer to intensify grooming in areas with high hair density, thus...
Comparative thanatology encompasses the study of death-related responses in non-human animals and aspires to elucidate the evolutionary origins of human behavior in the context of death. Many reports have revealed that humans are not the...
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...
Chimpanzees in zoos with sufficient and appropriate environmental enrichment devices are expected to exhibit behaviors, interactions, and societies similar to those in the wild. In this study, we compared the activity budgets of each observed...
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...
Social grooming is often exchanged between individuals in many primate species. Rates of bidirectional (or simultaneous mutual) grooming vary across primate species, and its function is not yet fully understood. For example, mutual grooming is...
This work provides an overview of the role of chemical communication in horse behavior and addresses the potential usefulness of this knowledge for management practices and animal welfare. First, we present an outline of the...
Wild great apes build beds for sleeping by combining tree branches or other vegetation, but the development of this behavior is poorly understood. We investigated the development of bed-building behaviors by conducting complementary cross-sectional and...
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...
In mammals, play behaviour appears innate and, because of this, may provide insight into the frequency and intensity of load that is required to stimulate positive musculoskeletal development. The objective of this review was to...
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...
Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...
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...
Maintaining a dominant position in a hierarchy requires energetically expensive aggressive displays and physical exertion. Lab based winner–loser studies, often conducted with individuals from non-social species, have shown that subordinates have higher stress hormone levels...
Evidence for behavioural and brain lateralisation is now widespread among the animal kingdom; lateralisation of limb use (pawedness) occurs in several mammals including both feral and domestic horses. We investigated limb preferences in 14 Quarter...
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...
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...
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...

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