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. 
During social interactions, acoustic parameters of tetrapods’ vocalisations reflect the emotional state of the caller. Higher levels of spectral noise and the occurrence of irregularities (non-linear phenomena NLP) might be negative arousal indicators in alarm...
The teleost zebrafish (Danio rerio), an established model for human skeletal diseases, is reared under controlled conditions with defined parameters for temperature and photoperiod. Studies aimed at defining the proper rearing density have been performed...
The zebrafish is becoming an increasingly popular research animal around the world. Its welfare is affected by an array of environmental factors, such as food access and water quality. Holding density is an important welfare...
Given the paucity of published data on the effects of artificial weaning on mares, the aim of the present study was to investigate the behavioral and hormonal effects of two different weaning methods in trotter...
Horses kept for meat production are reared in intensive breeding farms. We employed a checklist adapted from the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) assessment protocol. Our evaluation aims to assess whether welfare indicators are influenced by...
The most widespread reproductive rhythm practiced in rabbit farming is based on artificial insemination (AI) performed at around 11 days pospartum. This approach results in high production rates, but requires high yearly replacement of animals...
Examining the literature suggests equine personality is of interest to behavior and welfare scientists and those involved in the equine industry. Study and assessment of personality is critical because of the profound implications certain traits...
The objectives of this study were to establish a donkey ethogram, followed by a donkey grimace scale to be applied to donkeys pre- and post-castration and to test if there was a notable difference in...
Horses reared for meat production can be kept in intensive breeding farms where they are housed in group pens at high stocking densities. The present study aimed to evaluate whether the expressed behaviours correlated with...
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 RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...
The presentation I gave at IAT Congress 2019 was based on the changes and refinements the University of Dundee, Medical School Resource Unit (MSRU) has made over the past 18 months. These changes, described in...
Pets have numerous, effective methods to communicate with their human hosts. Perhaps most conspicuous of these are distress vocalizations: in cats, the ‘miaow’ and in dogs, the ‘whine’ or ‘whimper’. We compared a sample of...
Personality, defined as consistent between-individual variation in clusters of behavioral traits independent of factors such as age or sex, emerges in most animal species tested so far. The number of invertebrate species discovered to have...
Indicators of positive emotions are still scarce and many proposed behavioural markers have proven ambiguous. Studies established a link between acoustic signals and emitter’s internal state, but few related to positive emotions and still fewer...
OBJECTIVE: To describe use of a modified open castration technique with a scrotal approach and primary closure in equids. DESIGN Prospective case series. ANIMALS 38 client-owned, sexually intact male equids. PROCEDURES With owner consent, elective...
The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...
Adherence to basic animal welfare standards involves effective monitoring and control of pain, especially in a veterinary setting. Assessment relies on behavioral and physiological indicators. However, individual differences in physiology mediate consistent individual differences in...
In recent years, a rapidly increasing number of scientific papers have been published that utilize zebrafish (Danio rerio) as an alternative model organism in the study of a wide range of biological phenomena from cancer...
The average survival rate for our Zebrafish (ZF) embryos was 65%. When it was time to create our next generation of Wild Type (WT) (used for embryo production), we decided to run a trial focussing...
This book summarizes the basic features of living fish. It is introduced by a chapter on the diversity of a group which has over 30,000 species, the largest within the vertebrates, describing the classification systems...
A survey was conducted regarding zebrafish Danio rerio use for scientific research with a focus on: anaesthesia and euthanasia; housing and husbandry; breeding and production; refinement opportunities. A total of 98 survey responses were received...
Here we describe a case of pseudopregnancy in a New Zealand White rabbit as a result of pair housing with an aggressive conspecific. Clinical signs included fur pulling and nest building that developed shortly after...
Guinea pig pups produce typical distress whistles when isolated. Whistles’ frequency is decreased or abolished when they contact with the mother and, to a lesser degree, a sibling or even an unfamiliar female, is regained...
Keeping shelter dogs in groups provides them with a more socially and physically enriched environment, but eventually it may cause them stress. Understanding dogs' communication could help shelter staff recognize and prevent undesirable communicative patterns...

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