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...
Brushing produces a relaxing effect and improves the welfare of ewes and lambs and the human-animal relationship. Lambs gently handled during rearing are less fearful to humans in their adulthood, but there are few studies...
In a 2018 AALAS webinar on Sheep and Goat Analgesia, Dr. Susie Vogel, a small ruminant expert, introduced the concept of getting sheep and goats to willingly take medication by putting it in a tasty...
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...
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...
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...
Relationships between animals and their human caretakers can have profound impacts on animal welfare in farms, laboratories and zoos, while human attitudes are important predictors of caretaker behavior towards livestock. In this study, we examined...
This ethical discourse specifically deals with dilemmas encountered within zoological institutions, namely for the concept of natural living, and a new term—wilding. It is agreed by some that zoos are not ethically wrong in principle...
Achieving and maintaining high standards of animal welfare is critical to the success of a modern zoo. Research has shown that an animal's welfare is highly dependent on how various individual animal factors (e.g., species...
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...
This study examined the relationships between the attitudes and the management behaviour of the farmer and the on-farm welfare of their ewes. To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating these relationships in extensive...
The current extinction crisis leaves us increasingly reliant on captive populations to maintain vulnerable species. Approximately one third of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are living in semi-captive conditions in range countries. Their relationship with humans...
Welfare concerns not only the absence of negative emotional experiences but also the presence of positive experiences. However, scientific investigation on positive emotions in farm animals has been long neglected. This study aimed to investigate...
Animal habituation is key to obtain reliable data on behavioural studies but detailed procedures to achieve it are scarce. This study designed a set of actions to habituate sheep and goats to human observers. Pelibuey...
Qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA) was used to validate previous published interpretation whether human stroking has beneficial effects on lambs prematurely separated from their mothers. For a period of 8 weeks a familiar human (FH) subjected...
As recorded in domestic nonhuman animals, regular interactions between animals in zoos and keepers and the resulting relationship formed (human– animal relationship [HAR]) are likely to influence the animals’ behaviors with associated welfare consequences. HAR...
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...
Some human-animal relationships can be so positive that they confer emotional well-being to both partners and can thus be viewed as bonds. In this study, 130 delegates at zoo research and training events completed questionnaires...
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...
Environmental enrichment strategies are used to improve both the physiological and psychological welfare of captive animals, which can be achieved by increasing the expression of natural behaviour and decreasing abnormal behaviours. Examples of successful environmental...
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...

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