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. 

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...

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...

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...

Nociceptive threshold (NT) testing is widely used for the study of pain and its alleviation. The end point is a normal behavioural response, which may be affected by restraint or unfamiliar surroundings, leading to erroneous...

This study investigates for the first time the application of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) to the analysis of acute pain expression in castrated lambs. Eighty 2-day-old male lambs were allocated to one of 4 groups...

An attention bias test has been developed as a measure of negative affective states in sheep. The test measures an individual’s allocation of attention between a threatening (previous location of a dog) and positive (conspecific...

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...

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...

The identification and assessment of pain in sheep under field conditions are important, but, due to their stoic nature, are fraught with many challenges. In Australia, various husbandry procedures that are documented to cause pain...

Eye temperature measured using infrared thermography (IRT) can be used as a non-invasive measure of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in cattle. The objective of this study was to evaluate if changes in eye temperature...

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...

In order to assess the level of sheep welfare in small traditional farms as compared with farms of increased size we evaluated several animal-based parameters and applied a modified Animal Needs Index (ANI) protocol in...

Measuring body surface temperature changes with infrared thermography has recently been put forward as a non-invasive alternative measure of physiological correlates of emotional reactions. In particular, the nasal region seems to be highly sensitive to...

In the past few decades, there has been an increase in the number of zoo-based touchscreen studies of animal cognition around the world. Such studies have contributed to the field of comparative cognition despite the...

This systematic review explores the use of on-animal sensors in sheep and their potential application in objective welfare monitoring. The key questions posed were: To what extent can current scientific knowledge inform a sensor-based approach...

The genetic and biological similarity between non-human primates and humans has ensured the continued use of primates in biomedical research where other species cannot be used. Health-monitoring programmes for non-human primates provide an approach to...

Background: Lameness is a major health, welfare and production-limiting condition for the livestock industries. The current ‘gold-standard’ method of assessing lameness by visual locomotion scoring is subjective and time consuming, whereas recent technological advancements have...

Housing primates in naturalistic groups provides social benefits relative to solitary housing. However, food intake may vary across individuals, possibly resulting in overweight and underweight individuals. Information on relative adiposity (the amount of fat tissue...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

Pacing behaviour, the most frequent stereotypic behaviour displayed by laboratory rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) is often used as an indicator of stress. In this study, we investigated how reliable this welfare indicator is at detecting...

Activity budget comparisons between groups or individuals in the wild and those in captivity are commonly used to determine the range of wild-type behaviors that nonhuman animals in captivity perform. These comparisons are conducted with...

The use of technology to optimize the production and management of each individual animal is becoming key to good farming. There is a need for the real-time systematic detection and control of disease in animals...

Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) enzyme functions as a digestive enzyme in many species that consume starch in their diet. Human studies have also revealed that sAA enzyme activity levels are positively correlated with the release of...

Until now, most research has focused on the development of indicators of negative welfare, and relatively few studies provide information on valid, reliable, and feasible indicators addressing positive aspects of animal welfare. However, a lack...

The use of technology to optimize the production and management of each individual animal is becoming key to good farming. There is a need for the real-time systematic detection and control of disease in animals...

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