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. 

Comprehensively explains animal learning theories and current best practices in animal training within zoos. This accessible, up-to-date book on animal training in a zoo/aquaria context provides a unified approach to zoo animal learning, bringing together...

In the wild, hippopotamuses spend much of their daily activity in the water. In zoos, it is less clear the extent to which hippos spend time in the water. We examined how much time Woodland...

A protocol for photo‐identification of individual Megatrygon microps has been defined. One hundred and four identification photographs were taken between 2005 and 2019. Spot patterns on the dorsal surface were used to identify individuals. Unique...

All capture methods impose animal welfare impacts, but these impacts are rarely quantified or reported. We present data from two wildlife capture studies that trialled new methods for capturing Bennett’s wallabies (Notamacropus rufogriseus) and red...

Deflighting zoo birds is a practice that receives increasing criticism due to its presumed incompatibility with animal welfare. To our knowledge, this is the first approach to address this problem in a scientific way. To...

Knowledge of the welfare status of wild animals is vital for informing debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. Currently, there is no published information about how to...

The serval (Leptailurus serval) is a small African felid that is well represented in zoos and often serves as an animal ambassador in encounter programs with zoo visitors. The impact on serval welfare in relation...

A common goal of captive animal institutions is to create environments that allow for the most naturalistic behavior from their animals. Behavioral data is often used as a measure of how an animal is thriving...

Automatic feeders have already been developed by different institutions and companies. Feedpods are a perfect example of an elaborate manufactured device. They are currently used in many institutions with satisfying results. One of the main...

Ruminants evolved in diverse landscapes of which they utilized, by choice, a diverse arrangement of plants (grasses, forbs, and trees) for food. These plants provide them with both primary (carbohydrates, protein, etc.) and secondary (phenolics...

Research in ecology and wildlife biology remains crucial for increasing our knowledge and improving species management and conservation in the midst of the current biodiversity crisis. However, obtaining information on population status often involves invasive...

Zoos play an important role in conservation, participating in captive breeding programmes and scientific research. The research can be shared and inform practice in the field and zoos. A behavioural observation study was conducted on...

Endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana ) have been produced in captivity for reintroduction programs since the 1980s, using techniques such as artificial insemination, multiple clutching, and captive‐rearing to speed recovery efforts. Chicks are often hand‐reared...

Passive integrated transponder (PIT)‐tagging is commonly used in behavioural studies of fish, although long‐term evaluations of effects from tagging under natural conditions are scarce. We PIT‐tagged common bream Abramis brama, European perch Perca fluviatilis, pike...

GPS collars have revolutionized the field of animal ecology, providing detailed information on animal movement and the habitats necessary for species survival. GPS collars also have the potential to cause adverse effects ranging from mild...

The Andean bear alopecia syndrome is a progressive and chronic condition documented in ex situ populations. Recent advances focus on treating symptoms, not preventing future cases. We therefore explored the epidemiology of this syndrome through...

The aim of this study was to determine the hiding preferences of farmed European fallow deer does and fawns in natural sites and artificial shelters during the postnatal period. A total of 270 hours of...

Devising non-invasive techniques to maintain natural behaviours and increase breeding success of captive populations is a high priority in the conservation of endangered species. Allowing animals to choose their own mates not only preserves behaviours...

In comparison to non-human animals, humans are highly flexible in cooperative tasks, which may be a result of their ability to understand a partner’s role in such interactions. Here, we tested if wolves and dogs...

In anticipation of a major construction project in an urban New Zealand zoo, a study was initiated to assess the response to construction noise of selected animal species (elephant, giraffe, emu and alligator) previously observed...

Maintaining the capacity for sustained flight in captivity is a key goal for the management of threatened fruit bats. We developed quantifiable descriptions of flight complexity and used them to assess the suitability of an...

The time that penguins devote to aquatic behaviors likely has important implications for their welfare in zoos and aquariums. For decades, field researchers have used time-depth recorders (TDRs) to understand the behavior of penguins at...

To ensure that captive breeding and other associated programs are more robust and sustainable, it is of utmost importance to ensure optimum welfare. Although it is well known that standard welfare is crucial for successful...

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...

We studied the behavioral responses of three brown bears (Ursus arctos) to different types of enrichment devices to assess the predominant pattern of animal-enrichment interaction (PAI) to each type of enrichment. We assessed the bears'...

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