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. 
Animal welfare is important for the humane treatment of animals under our care. Zoos and rescue centres manage various charismatic animals, such as big cats, with limited resources. It is therefore essential for caretakers to...
The main conditions and diseases considered painful in dairy cows are mastitis, lameness, calving (including dystocia and caesarean section) and metritis. The cattle literature reports that deviation from normal daily activity patterns (both increased and/or...
The behavior of animals is related to their health and welfare status. The latter plays a particular role in animal experiments, where continuous monitoring is essential for animal welfare. In this study, we focus on...
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...
The monitoring of animals under human care is a crucial tool for biologists and zookeepers to keep track of the animals’ physical and psychological health. Additionally, it enables the analysis of observed behavioral changes and...
With age, primates’ activity levels and ease of movement may decline and changes in locomotory behaviour may reflect changes in health. Thus, developing quick and reliable measures of movement has important applications for measuring recovery...
The well-being of animals kept by humans in laboratories, farms, or as pets should always be of the highest importance, and a prerequisite for this is adequate housing. To assess the potential indicators for animal...
There are an estimated half-a-million Plains Bison (Bison bison) present in North America in commercial and conservation herds. Most bison are rounded up and “worked” annually for parasite control, veterinarian attention, and processing, making it...
It is widely acknowledged that environmental enrichment can improve animals’ welfare and emotional state. This study used cognitive bias and response to a novel object to assess the effect of enriched housing on emotional state...
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...
Captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are well-documented as being prone to behavioural disorders and, as a result, their welfare is the cause of increasing concern. There is therefore a need for an evidence-based approach to...
This study aimed to apply a protocol for assessing camel welfare, to develop a scoring system for the welfare measures, to produce overall assessment indices, and to classify the animal units (i.e., pens) according to...
The aim of this study was to develop and describe a protocol for assessing welfare in camels reared in intensive or semi-intensive systems. A literature review was conducted searching for scientific papers on assessment of...
In order to base welfare assessment of dairy cattle on real-time measurement, integration of valid and reliable precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies is needed. The aim of this study was to provide a systematic overview...
Vocalizations are used by group-living animals as aggressive and submissive signals during agonistic interactions, and are also used to maintain dominance hierarchies in many species. For gregarious strepsirrhines with large vocal repertoires and differentiated dominance...
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...
Background: The efficacy of procaine as anaesthetic for disbudding of calves is largely unknown. Likewise, information about effect of interval from local anaesthesia to disbudding and the size of the hot iron used is missing...
Attention bias is a new approach to assessing animal affect that has shown promising results in several animal species. It describes a tendency to preferentially attend to emotional compared to neutral cues and is influenced...
This study investigated the effect of milk allowance on the suitability of behavioural and physiological responses, individually and in combination, as early disease indicators. A total of 120 heifer calves were assigned into a 5...
Evaluation of animal behavior provides information on health and well-being in animals. In this preliminary study, we investigated the effectiveness of an accelerometry approach to evaluate changes in health status of cattle by combining physical...
Bovine castration can be performed surgically, chemically, or immunologically and the method used can influence animal welfare. The use of facial expressions is an efficient tool to quantify pain, but there has been limited study...
Successful detection of pain in cows could circumscribe the therapeutic window for treatment before the cow's condition deteriorates further. While severe clinical cases that are characterized as painful have clear behavioral and physiological manifestations, mild...
Public concern for farm animal welfare is increasing. Animal welfare is defined as the balance of positive and negative emotions, where positive emotions are key to a good animal life. Emotion is defined as an...
This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...
Here we show for the first time that the plasticity in morphology and duration of yawning in Macaca tonkeana can be associated with different functional contexts. Macaca tonkeana is classified as a tolerant macaque species...

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