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. 

Assessing and treating cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is a growing concern for institutions housing great apes, as it is a major cause of mortality in all four taxa managed in human care. As part...

As the reliance upon automated systems in the livestock industry increases, technologies need to be developed which can be incorporated into these systems to monitor animal health and welfare. Infrared thermography (IRT) is one such...

Potential measures suitable for assessing welfare in pasture-based beef cow–calf systems in New Zealand were identified from Welfare Quality and UC Davis Cow-Calf protocols. These were trialled on a single farm and a potential protocol...

Outdoor and extensive farming systems allow animals to behave in a natural way and are often perceived as welfare friendly. Nonetheless, the natural environment poses multiple challenges to the welfare of animals, sometimes hampering their...

Welfare assessment has traditionally been performed by direct observation by humans, providing information at only selected points in time. Recently, this assessment method has been questioned, as ‘Precision Livestock Farming’ technologies may be able to...

Requirements for animal and dairy products are increasing gradually in emerging economic bodies. However, it is critical and challenging to maintain the health and welfare of the increasing population of dairy cattle, especially the dairy...

The intention of this study was to develop standards for a welfare assessment protocol by validating potential categorisation thresholds for the assessment of beef farms in New Zealand. Thirty-two measures, based on the Welfare Quality...

Accelerometer-based mobility scoring has focused on cow behaviors such as lying and walking. Accuracy levels as high as 91% have been previously reported. However, there has been limited replication of results. Here, measures previously identified...

In this preliminary study, we compared changes in mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNT) of calves and goat kids injected with clove oil or isoeugenol under the horn bud as a potential, more welfare-friendly alternative to hot-iron...

Pressure algometry can be used to quantify mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) in humans and animals. If reliable this may be a useful tool to examine calves for increased mechanical sensitivity, which may be induced by...

Rabbits are the third species in terms of number of animals reared for meat production in the world. However, in comparison to other species, very few studies have focused on their welfare. The aim of...

Dehorning causes pain and distress to cattle, and there is a need to provide effective and practical analgesia to improve animal welfare. We conducted an experiment to determine the effect of a modified post-operative topical...

Some captive breeding colonies of rhesus macaques live in large outdoor multimale, multifemale social groups. These groups are composed of several matrilineal families, governed by a clear female dominance hierarchy. Aggression within the same or...

Despite the importance for both animal welfare and scientific integrity of effective welfare assessment in non-human primates, there has been little or no consensus as what should be assessed. A Delphi consultation process was undertaken...

Continuous assessment of the herd status is important in order to monitor and adjust to changes in the welfare and health status but can be time consuming and expensive. In this study, herd status indicators...

Obesity is a problem in captive chimpanzee colonies that can lead to increased risk for disease; therefore, implementation of effective weight management strategies is imperative. To properly implement a weight management program, captive managers should...

Mastitis in dairy cattle is extremely costly both in economic and welfare terms and is one of the most significant drivers of antimicrobial usage in dairy cattle. A critical step in the prevention of mastitis...

For on-farm welfare assessment many automatic methods have been developed to detect indicators of reduced welfare. However, there is still a need to integrate data from single sources to obtain a complete picture of the...

Dairy cattle are particularly susceptible to metritis, hyperketonemia (HYK), and mastitis in the weeks after calving. These high-prevalence transition diseases adversely affect animal welfare, milk production, and profitability. Our aim was to use prepartum behavior...

Body condition scoring (BCS) is the management practice of assessing body reserves of individual animals by visual or tactile estimation of subcutaneous fat and muscle. Both high and low BCS can negatively impact milk production...

Detection of slightly lame cows and non-lame cows with limb pathologies and those with early limb pathologies is most challenging. Therefore, the availability of a sensitive, objective tool to complement the clinical limb examination is...

The welfare impact of birth on newborn calves has rarely been studied. Dystocia in particular may have significant welfare costs for calves. While analgesia is sometimes provided to calves born to difficult parturition by veterinary...

Applying objective measures to assess the emotional states of animals is an important area of research and essential for improving animal welfare. In this study, we have built upon previous research to test whether ear...

Opioids are widely used in veterinary and human medicine to manage pain. However, there is a paucity of information in the literature regarding the pharmacokinetics of opioid transdermal patches (TDP) in NHP. Therefore, to determine...

Measurement of friction of cowshed floors to determine slipperiness potential is important for cow comfort. Existing methods require elaborate equipment and procedures. A quick method for assessment of friction characteristics is proposed. Friction was measured...

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