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. 

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...

The article describes the care of the Olive python (Liasis olivaceus) including information on housing, feeding, handling, as well as the general health care of these animals. Some of the information presented is derived from...

Amphibian health problems of unknown cause limit the success of the growing number of captive breeding programs. Spindly leg syndrome (SLS) is one such disease, where affected individuals with underdeveloped limbs often require euthanization. We...

The assessment and understanding of Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Elimination (ADME) for new pharmaceuticals is required in regulatory submissions. Typically, ADME studies are conducted using metabolism cages designed for the single housing of animals to...

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...

This article describes the care of the Children’s python (Antaresia childreni). It includes information on housing, feeding, handling, as well as the general health care of these animals. The information presented is derived from Standard...

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...

On farms, female mink are exposed to acute stressors multiple times due to handling, capturing and transport with restricted movement being a typical part of the mating procedure. We hypothesised that no relocation (group NON...

The weekend effect hypothesis proposes that captive primates are more likely to give birth during times of low disturbance and reduced staff activity. The hypothesis specifically predicts that laboratory‐housed primates will be more likely to...

We searched a selection of the scientific literature to document evidence for, and explorations into reptile sentience. The intention of this review was to highlight; (1) to what extent reptile capability for emotions have been...

Xenopus laevis have a unique process for consuming food. They lack a tongue and must utilize inertial suction, jaw prehension, forearm scooping, overhead kicking, and terrestrial lunges when hunting prey. The mechanism by which Xenopus...

Husbandry staff set a goal to develop a health monitoring program for a Xenopus laevis colony that included not only specific pathogen freedom, but wellness. This article describes environmental enrichment and a water recipe for...

Many husbandry routines in zoo herpetology are based on tradition, authoritarianism, anecdote, or speculation. However, relatively few empirical studies underlie many very common practices. We compared growth rates among littermates of Boa constrictor raised under...

In fiscal year 2016, agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats, and cattle represented 10% of the 820 812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife...

We investigated whether nest building and nest site preference are temperature dependent in female mink. We designed two experiments: in Experiment 1, female mink had access to unheated (7 °C, Room7C group) or heated (25...

It is vital to provide appropriate nutrition to maintain healthy populations in conservation breeding programs. Knowledge of the wild diet of a species can be used to inform captive diet formulation. The nutritional content of...

The keeping of exotic pets is currently under debate and governments of several countries are increasingly exploring the regulation, or even the banning, of exotic pet keeping. Major concerns are issues of public health and...

A number of mutilating procedures, such as dehorning in cattle and goats and beak trimming in laying hens, are common in farm animal husbandry systems in an attempt to prevent or solve problems, such as...

"Do any of you give cooked food like pasta, potatoes or vegetables to non-human primates? What’s your experience? Do the animals benefit from cooked food; do they like it; does it affect their health in...

Pre-weaning diarrhea in mink, also known as “sticky kits”, is a syndrome and outbreaks occur every year on commercial mink farms in all mink producing countries. Morbidity and mortality can be considerable on a farm...

The aim of this study was to investigate the activity patterns of American mink (Neovison vison). Twenty mink from a commercial mink farm were housed in a free-range enclosure (290 m2) at the age of...

At Colorado State University we have an investigator who requested care for 2 different species of pythons, the green tree python (Morelia viridis) and the ball python (Python reguis), to study the pathology of an...

The success of breeding primates in captivity has led to a surplus number of animals in collections. This review examines published journals and key books to investigate the various methods of primate population control. Hormonal...

Wood shavings or chopped straw in American mink dams’ nests did not affect kit survivability (P ≥ 0.51). Straw-housed male kits were lighter at 6 wk (P = 0.01). Shavings nests were better constructed (all...

Over evolutionary time, light from the sun, moon, and stars has provided organisms with reliable information about the passage of time; but modern artificial lighting has drastically altered these cues. Evidence is accumulating that exposure...

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