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 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...

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...

"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...

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...

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 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...

Xenopus laevis is a commonly used research animal for which well accepted enrichment strategies have not been established. Our overall objective was to identify enrichment strategies that are most beneficial to Xenopus as a step...

Goat enrichment can be incredibly rewarding, not only for the goat, but for personnel as well. In our facility, we often refer to goatenrichment tasks as technician (or vet!) enrichment. Somewhere in the evolutionary development...

Fear in farm animals has been extensively studied because of its close relation to animal welfare. Numerous studies have categorized the behavioral responses of animals to stimuli that can elicit a fear reaction under social...

As a goat's separation from or reintegration into its group is likely to have an adverse effect on the welfare of both the separated goat and the remaining goats in the group, management procedures need...

Despite growing interest in promoting positive welfare, rather than just alleviating poor welfare, potential measures of good welfare, and means to provide it, have remained elusive. In humans social support improves stress-coping abilities, health, and...

Lean management-based visual tools have been used to improve the quality of animal care associated with a complex research study involving immune-compromised cynomolgus monkeys (M. fascicularis) in various postsurgical recovery states. In order to effectively...

There is a general consensus among those studying the welfare of captive primates that social housing is the most effective means for promoting psychological well-being. It is well established that socially-housed rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)...

In captive research environments for nonhuman primates (NHP), social housing strategies are often in conflict with protocols designed to minimize disease transmission. This is particularly true in breeding colonies, and is especially relevant when attempting...

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...

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