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. 
As a global society, we have a duty to provide suitable care and conditions for farmed livestock to protect animal welfare and ensure the sustainability of our food supply. The suitability and biological impacts of...
Previously, we housed guinea pigs in pairs, where study design allowed, using RC2R cages (NKP-Isotec). Our change was to house guinea pigs in bigger groups with more space. This resulted in moving the guinea pigs...
Selected technological solutions can impact health status of animals. The aim of this case study was to determine the effect of different housing systems on disease prevalence and the productive lifespan of dairy cows. In...
The effect of milk production systems on the welfare of dairy cows has been studied worldwide, but studies that compare pasture-based, compost barn, and free stall systems, according to animal welfare, are more scarce. In...
National legislation requires shelter access for horses kept outside during winter, whereas there are no requirements for shelter access to provide shade and a refuge from biting insects during summer. This study investigated use of...
Lying behaviour in horses is affected by factors such as bedding, housing and available lying area. For group-housed horses, social factors may influence access to available lying area and affect their ability to meet their...
Previously, dog personality traits that seem to correspond have been identified by the Dog Mentality Assessment (DMA) and the Behaviour and Personality Assessment in Dogs (BPH): Playfulness, Sociability, Curiosity/fearlessness (DMA) vs. Non-social fearfulness (BPH), Aggressiveness...
A novel livestock management system (LMS) for dairy cows mainly based on a high forage:concentrate ratio, no silage, and large outdoor paddocks, has been introduced in Italy during the last five years. It was proved...
As dairy cows are being housed for longer periods, with all-year-round housing growing in popularity, it is important to ensure housed environments are meeting the needs of cows. Dairy cows are motivated to access open...
As a global society, we have a duty to provide suitable care and conditions for farmed livestock to protect animal welfare and ensure the sustainability of our food supply. The suitability and biological impacts of...
Confinement and restriction of movement are a reality for most dairy cows. Providing outdoor access is one method to increase movement opportunities. However, leading cows to an outdoor exercise area increases their exposure to manipulations...
In dairy industry, quality of produced milk must be more important than quantity without a high somatic cells count (SCC) or pathogens causing mastitis of dairy cows and consumer diseases. Preserving the good health of...
Anticipatory behaviour occurs in the period before a reward or other positive event is presented and has been interpreted as an indicator of the welfare and emotional state of animals. The use of this indicator...
Allowing dairy cattle to access pasture can promote natural behaviour and improve their health. However, the psychological benefits are poorly understood. We compared a cognitive indicator of emotion in cattle either with or without pasture...
The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...
Various pharmaceutical products have been derived from horse blood and urine for over a century. Production of biologics and therapeutics from these samples is a niche industry and often occurs in regions with little regulation...
Modern freestall barns for dairy cattle have been constructed with considerations for dairy cow cleanliness; partitions and other stall features such as neck rails are designed to reduce manure contamination of bedding and decrease farm...
The satisfaction of leisure horses’ behavioral needs has begun to be considered a priority, linked to the awareness that horses kept in single boxes may be deprived of social contact and the possibility to perform...
Climate change is a reality and global surface temperature is projected to rise substantially in the next 80 years. Agriculture practices will have to adapt to climate change, and also help to mitigate this effect...
Behavior is one of the most observable and informative indicators of animal welfare. This study used behavioral observation methodologies to evaluate the impact of an enclosure expansion on the activity budgets of a group of...
Background: Farm animals (FAs) are frequently used in biomedical research. Recommendations for the purchase, housing and health monitoring of these animals (sheep, goats, cattle and pigs) are still missing, and many institutes have developed their...
We used an operant conditioning paradigm to test the motivation of non-pregnant dairy heifers to access shade during the summer and autumn months (January to June) in southern Brazil. Dairy heifers (n = 18) were...
The aim of this study was to analyze the utilization of different stable areas of a total of 52 group-housed horses as well as their preferred stable parts and the use of resources. The study...
Dogs and cats housed in research-, kennel- and cattery-type settings are reliant on caregivers to optimise their day-to-day experiences and welfare. The goal is to provide enriching environments for physical, social and environmental control; behavioural...
Sleep is crucial to horses’ wellbeing, and their lying time can vary according to such factors as climate, exercise, bedding, and housing. This study aimed to analyze behavior and time spent in lying halls of...

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