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. 
Institutions that conduct high-containment agricultural research involving domestic livestock represent a specialized category of programs that are accredited by AAALAC International. The accreditation process includes a comprehensive assessment of the overall program of animal care...
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...
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...
The Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) is a solitary and naturally territorial animal, with female hamsters being more aggressive than males. This behavior makes handling difficult because they are usually housed in groups, which can lead...
Sheep lameness is a major concern among farmers and policymakers with significant impacts on animal welfare standards as well as financial and production performance. The present study attempts to identify the relative importance of environmental...
Previous research has shown that competition, familiarity, diet, and relatedness can all influence aggregation patterns in garter snakes. We controlled for these factors and examined social aggregation patterns in juvenile Eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis...
Studies on the etiology of behavioral problems often involve interference in the animal's routine or reliance on owners' self-reports like surveys. Gathering data from videos posted on social media, a technique coined ‘video mining’, offers...
Our social relationships determine our health and well-being. In rodent models, there is now strong support for the rewarding properties of aggressive or assertive behaviors to be critical for the expression and development of adaptive...
A thorough understanding of how animals fly is a central goal of many scientific disciplines. Birds are a commonly used model organism for flight research. The success of this model requires studying healthy and naturally...
The revised fifth edition of Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine: An Introduction is an accessible guide to basic information for conducting animal research safely and responsibly. It includes a review of the unique anatomic and physiologic...
"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...
Separation from the group is a potent stressor for sheep and may have an adverse effect on animal welfare. Therefore, the present study was initiated to determine the effect of short-term seclusion of sheep on...
Social housing has often been recommended as one‐way to address the psychological well‐being of captive non‐human primates. Published reports have examined methods to socialize compatible animals by forming pairs or groups. Successful socialization rates vary...
Although Syrian hamsters are thought to be naturally solitary, recent evidence from our laboratory demonstrates that hamsters may actually prefer social contact. Hamsters increase their preference for a location associated with an agonistic encounter regardless...
Social species in captivity may face allostatic overload due to artificial grouping and other social constraints. In rescue centres, groups of psittacines are constantly mixed due to the arrival and/or release of individuals; this procedure...
The psychological and physiological effects of different genres of music are well documented in humans. These concepts have also been studied in kenneled dogs and some exotic animals, implying that animals may experience benefits similar...
Gray parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are popular companion birds, particularly noted for their ability to mimic human speech, their intelligence, and longevity. They are also prone to developing abnormal behaviors such as feather damaging behavior. This...
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...
Group size (GS) and space allowance have major implications for the welfare of production species, however their effects are often confounded. In a previous study we investigated the impact of varying space allowance at constant...
The Principles and guidelines for the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes is a revision of NHMRC’s Policy on the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes 2003 (the Policy)...
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...
We have established ex situ assurance colonies of two endangered Panamanian harlequin frogs, Atelopus certus and Atelopus glyphus, but observed that males fought with each other when housed as a group. Housing frogs individually eliminated...
Aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) are thought to be solitary animals and are often housed alone in captivity. However, for all primates sociality is known to play a major role in psychological well-being. Captive animals can develop...
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...

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