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. 

Farm animals can perceive humans positively by observing another animal being positively handled. This study evaluated whether pigs acquire a positive perception of humans after observing either a high or low socially ranked conspecific receiving...

Previous positive interactions with humans may ameliorate the stress response of farm animals to aversive routine practices such as painful or stressful procedures, particularly those associated with stockpeople. We studied the effects of positive handling...

Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (SONFH) is a condition documented in humans and animals exposed to chronic steroid administration. The rabbit has become a preferred animal model for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of...

Confinement to farrowing crates is known to prevent sows from performing natural behavior, impairing animal welfare and possibly causing chronic stress. Hair cortisol analyses are increasingly used to detect chronic stress in animals. In the...

People often express concern for the welfare of farm animals, but research on this topic has relied upon self-report. Facial expressions provide a quantifiable measure of emotional response that may be less susceptible to social...

Monitoring the vocalizations produced by livestock in commercial facilities can be used to remotely assess the arousal, and perhaps welfare, of the animals. Domestic swine is an ideal candidate for this type of assessment as...

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...

What is animal welfare? Why has it proved so difficult to find a definition that everyone can agree on? This concise and accessible guide is for anyone who is interested in animals and who has...

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...

The RSPCA/UFAW rodent and rabbit welfare group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 27 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and share...

The Animal Welfare Assessment Grid (AWAG) is a method for assessing quality of life, originally designed for experimental primates. This study adapts the AWAG for use in cattle and pigs, by adapting the factors included...

This study aimed to define appropriate humane endpoints (HEs) for an animal model of colorectal carcinogenesis (CRC). Twenty-nine male Wistar rats were divided into two control groups (CTRL1 and CTRL2) injected with ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid...

Posture changes in pigs during growth are often precursors of disease. Monitoring pigs’ behavioral activities can allow us to detect pathological changes in pigs earlier and identify the factors threatening the health of pigs in...

Gestational and early life experiences affect subsequent behavioural and physical development. The objective of the current study was to investigate associations between gilts’ fear of humans, gestational stress level, and feeding and maternal behaviour, as...

This experiment studied the effects of lactation housing systems and human interaction on piglets’ responses to routine stressors. Forty litters of piglets were reared in either a standard farrowing crate (FC) or a loose farrowing...

Animal models of human diseases are important in biomedical research. When using animals for scientific purposes, the 3Rs (replace, reduce, refine) should be considered. Refinement of animal models is essential to ensure best use of...

Measuring animal activity is useful for monitoring animal welfare in real time. In this regard, passive infrared detectors have been used in recent years to quantify piglet activity because of their robustness and ease of...

Pain causes behavioral, autonomic, and neuroendocrine changes and is a common cause of animal welfare compromise in farm animals. Current societal and ethical concerns demand better agricultural practices and improved welfare for food animals. These...

In order to assess the extent to which the legally prescribed training for the acquisition of animal experimentation expertise provides scientific personnel with the necessary competence and expertise to carry out a correct harm-benefit analysis...

Research animals are important for scientific advancement, and therefore, their long-term welfare needs to be monitored to not only minimize suffering, but to provide positive affective states and experiences. Currently, there is limited guidance in...

In this Opinion paper, we consider whether current methods of tickling overemphasize the use of pinning (Figure 1) to which there may be a wider response variation than commonly acknowledged. We do not dispute that...

Several precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies, conceived for optimizing farming processes, are developed to detect the physical and behavioral changes of animals continuously and in real-time. The aim of this review was to explore the...

Regardless of the microbiological status of an animal facility, research animals may experience health problems, leading to pain, suffering and distress. Simple and efficient tools are needed to collect data systematically, allowing researchers to react...

A species-specific composite pain scale is a prerequisite for adequate pain assessment. The aim of this study was to develop a multidimensional pain scale specific to rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) called the Bristol Rabbit Pain Scale...

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