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. 
To assess the welfare of captive animals, validated measures, so-called ‘welfare indicators’, are required. We used a triangulation approach to investigate the extent to which different measures converged to provide corroborating evidence of welfare. Laying...
There is increasing recognition that farm animal welfare standards should ensure positive welfare, as well as prevent negative welfare. Resources that are valued by an animal and that provide opportunities to engage in motivated behaviours...
Feather pecking remains a serious problem in poultry farming. This study aimed to identify risk factors for plumage damage as a proxy for feather pecking, and the predictive value of practical animal-based parameters. Data were...
South Africa has many fenced reserves harbouring small to medium sized populations of African elephant (Loxodonta africana), most of which have been translocated. Elephants on fenced reserves may be exposed to various management interventions and...
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative motor disorder and primarily affects movement control but also a range of non-motor functions. With unknown etiology and lack of cure, much research is dedicated to unravel...
The stall-housing system is commonly used in the modern swine industry in many countries; however, long-term space restrictions can cause affective and physiological abnormalities in sows. The pupil light reflex (PLR) can reflect the psychological...
Recent years have witnessed major advances in the ability of computerized systems to track the positions of animals as they move through large and unconstrained environments. These systems have so far been a great boon...
Proper methods of assessment to objectively identify pain are essential for welfare improvements of piglets undergoing surgical castration on commercial farms. The Piglet Grimace Scale (PGS) is used to identify changes in facial expressions caused...
Research primates may undergo surgical procedures making effective pain management essential to ensure good animal welfare and unbiased scientific data. Adequate pain mitigation is dependent on whether veterinarians, technicians, researchers, and caregivers can recognize and...
The occurrence of tail biting is one of the most important animal welfare problems in pig farming and needs to be recognised early to reduce injuries and suffering. The posture of the tail could be...
Animal welfare monitoring is a vital part of veterinary medicine and can be challenging due to a range of factors that contribute to the perception of welfare. Tools can be used, however; there are few...
Isoflurane has been characterized as a distressing agent for rodents, causing both physiologic and behavioral effects. Using a "darkened home cage" has been recommended during CO2 administration for rodent euthanasia; this is arguably a similar...
Sociocultural changes in the human–animal relationship have led to increasing demands for animal welfare in biomedical research. The 3R concept is the basis for bringing this demand into practice: Replace animal experiments with alternatives where...
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease with no curative pharmacological treatment. The most used animal model of IPF for anti-fibrotic drug screening is bleomycin (BLM)-induced lung fibrosis. However, several issues have been reported...
The intense nature of pig production has increased the animals’ exposure to stressful conditions, which may be detrimental to their welfare and productivity. Some of the most common sources of stress in pigs are extreme...
Animal welfare assessment relies on valid and practical indicators of affect. In mice, the most widely used research vertebrates, lying still with eyes open, inactive-but-awake (IBA) in the home cage, has potential to be one...
In humans, contrasting emotional states can lead to a broadening or narrowing of attentional scope. Whether this is also the case in animals has yet to be investigated. If confirmed, measurement of attentional scope has...
Since January 2019, surgical castration of male piglets must be performed using local anaesthesia, if farmers deliver pigs to the primary exporting slaughterhouses according to the “Danish quality scheme”; a voluntary initiative taken by the...
Group level measures of welfare flocks have been criticized on the grounds that they give only average measures and overlook the welfare of individual animals. However, we here show that the group-level optical flow patterns...
Despite the use of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) in research, little is known about the evaluation of pain in this species. This study investigated whether the frequency of certain behaviors, a grimace scale, the treat-take-test...
Confinement to farrowing crates is known to prevent sows from performing natural behavior, impairing animal welfare and possibly causing chronic stress. Hair cortisol analyses are increasingly used to detect chronic stress in animals. In the...
Animal welfare is one of the most challenging issues in modern farm animal husbandry. Animal welfare indicators can be used to monitor welfare on farms or at slaughterhouses, with footpad dermatitis (FPD) being one of...
Although nesting material is beneficial to the welfare of laboratory mice, provision of appropriate amounts may impair visualization of the mice. In anticipation of our academic research institution transitioning to providing 6 grams of nesting...
The combination of bedding substrate and nesting material within the microenvironment of mice is an important consideration for animal care programs in regard to optimizing animal wellbeing. We used 3 general or breeding mouse colonies...
Fibrosis, as a common final pathway in many renal diseases, contributes significantly to the decline of organ function and to progression to end-stage renal disease. To establish therapeutic interventions that target fibrosis, animal models are...

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