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...
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...
Responses to stress are unavoidable, adaptive mechanisms in humans and non-human animals. However, in humans, chronic stress has been linked to poor health outcomes and early mortality. Allostatic load, the physiologic dysregulation that occurs when...
Despite no significant difference in wounding between bachelor and mixed-sex groups of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in zoological settings, anecdotal concerns around the frequency and severity of wounding in bachelor groups have perpetuated...
Zebrafish has become an animal model in research and articles have established ideal conditions for their maintenance. However, little is known regarding the influence of gender and other cues on zebrafish behavior. Thus, here we...
Anthropogenic change is expected to alter environments at alarming rates. To predict the impact of modified environments on social behavior, we must study the relationship between environmental features and collective behavior in a genetically tractable...
This open access book is a printed edition of the Special Issue on Welfare of Cultured and Experimental Fishes that was published in the journal Fishes. The PDF is free for download.
Behavioral assays of zebrafish shoaling have recently been employed to investigate social behavior in zebrafish models of psychiatric disease. Many studies have developed simulated models of conspecifics to serve as alternatives to live shoals in...
Fish welfare is still a relatively new field. As such, regulations and protocols to ensure fish welfare are currently limited and vary considerably in different jurisdictions. This is in part because of the ongoing controversy...
In this review, we focus primarily on the refinement of common methods used in fish research based on emerging knowledge with the aim of improving the welfare of fish used in scientific studies. We consider...
The number of fish used in research has increased in the last decades. Anaesthesia is required when fish must be held immobile and it is crucial to promote fish welfare, because these vertebrates can show...
Personality, defined as consistent between-individual variation in clusters of behavioral traits independent of factors such as age or sex, emerges in most animal species tested so far. The number of invertebrate species discovered to have...
Analgesics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use in fish is still limited. Some recommendations on the use of analgesics in fish are currently in the literature; however, information...
"When you keep adult Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) males, adult Cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) males or adult Vervet males (Chlorocebus pygerythrus), in the same enclosure, is it advisable to have the canines of the males blunted...
Though African Green Monkeys (AGMs), or vervets, are widely used in research, little is known in regards to their successful pair housing. Due to difficulties with long‐term successful social housing of same‐sex pairs, we attempted...
Zebrafish, a highly-social species of freshwater fish, are widely studied across many fields of laboratory science including developmental biology, neuroscience, and genomics. Nevertheless, as standard housing for zebrafish typically consists of small and simplistic environments...
Research has recently demonstrated that larval zebrafish show similar molecular responses to nociception to those of adults. Our study explored whether unprotected larval zebrafish exhibited altered behaviour after exposure to noxious chemicals and screened a...
Understanding how animals experience stress in a laboratory environment is crucial for improving their welfare. Increasing numbers of fish are being used in scientific studies and further research is required to ensure appropriate conditions are...
Local anesthetics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use is relatively limited in fish, amphibians and reptiles. These animals frequently undergo potentially painful surgical procedures and therefore could possibly...
Vervets, also known as African green monkeys, are a nonhuman primate species widely used in biomedical research. However, there are currently few references available describing techniques and rates of success for pair‐housing this species. We...
Fish are known to respond to a wide range of irritant chemicals, displaying clear behavioural changes after exposure to potentially noxious stimuli. Recent evidence shows that these agents can have an impact on larval forms...
Recent studies have demonstrated that fish exhibit behavioural responses to noxious stimuli, including mechanical, chemical or thermal stimulation. In many cases, these responses are characterised by a reduction in the locomotor activity, which in turn...
Home Office guidelines recommend the use of analgesics for all protected species, including fish during scientific procedures likely to result in pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm. In larger fish species some drugs have shown...
The act of grooming has been found to greatly decrease stress, heart rate, and cortisol levels in nonhuman primates; this decrease in stress and cortisol is seen in the animal being groomed, as well as...
Wild zebrafish exhibit a wide range of behavior. We found abundant wild zebrafish in flowing rivers and still water, in large, tightly-knit groups of hundreds of individuals, as well as in small, loose shoals. In...

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