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. 

This article describes the biology, husbandry, and care of Siamese fighting fish (also known as the betta fish) at Columbia University.

Background: General anaesthesia in pigs maintained with intravenous drugs such as propofol may cause respiratory depression. Alfaxalone gives less respiratory depression than propofol in some species. The aim of the investigation was to compare respiratory...

Becton Dickinson (BD) Animal Research Program developed an extensive training and environmental enrichment program to acclimate newly arrived swine to daily husbandry routines. The program seeks to build trust between swine and animal care and...

Changes in pig behaviours are a useful aid in detecting early signs of compromised health and welfare. In commercial settings, automatic detection of pig behaviours through visual imaging remains a challenge due to farm demanding...

Consciousness is central to animal welfare concerns. Its assessment is most often conducted based on behavior, with a poor understanding of the correspondence between behavior and the neurobiological processes that underlie the subjective experience of...

This article describes the steps for making a DIY guinea pig or rabbit cardboard foraging ball. Pictures are provided for each step as well as the completed ball. These cardboard foraging balls can be made...

Enriching the life of farm animals is a legal obligation in intensive farming conditions in the European Union, though not worldwide. In pigs, manipulable materials are mandatory when no bedding is available. Like manipulable objects...

Hematology is a common tool for wildlife health assessments. Manual leukocyte counts are required in reptiles, however, disagreement between quantification methods has been observed in some chelonians. This study determined agreement between two methods of...

Broodstock rearing conditions and handling procedures should be optimized in aquaculture species in order to benefit fish welfare and guarantee optimal conditions for spawning. In teleosts, basal cortisol levels display daily rhythms, oscillating along the...

Model fish species such as sticklebacks and zebrafish are frequently used in studies that require DNA to be collected from live animals. This is typically achieved by fin clipping, a procedure that is simple and...

We investigated the effect of different farrowing systems on the behavior of sows and piglets. In total, 22 hybrid sows (Yorkshire × Landrace) were randomly assigned into three farrowing systems, farrowing crate (FC), free farrowing...

The aim of this study was to assess the interobserver reliability of the measures forming the Welfare Quality® animal welfare assessment protocol for sows and piglets. The study was carried out at nine farms in...

The pig is commonly used in renal transplantation studies since the porcine kidney resembles the human kidney. To meet the requirements of intense caretaking and examination without stress, a 2-week socialisation and training programme was...

For a long time, scientists assumed that newborns have a severely limited sense of pain (if any). However, this assumption is wrong and led to a “start of the exit” from piglet surgical castration. Some...

In semi-natural mixed-sex groups, rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) organize their social life by forming a hierarchy, which is characterized by linearity and stability. Compared to the natural environment, many factors are different in contemporary breeding systems...

This article describes the care of central bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) as well as Pygmy bearded dragons (Pogona henrylawsoni). It includes information on housing, feeding, handling and sexing technique, as well as the general health...

A protocol for photo‐identification of individual Megatrygon microps has been defined. One hundred and four identification photographs were taken between 2005 and 2019. Spot patterns on the dorsal surface were used to identify individuals. Unique...

Respiratory diseases are a major problem in the pig industry worldwide. Due to the impact of these diseases, the early identification of infected herds is essential. Computer vision technology, using RGB (red, green and blue)...

A major problem in conventional pig production systems is the occurrence of abnormal behaviours such as tail biting. Tail biting is a multifactorial problem, but it seems that a lack of proper enrichment materials prevents...

Weaning and other regrouping events as routine work in commercial farms cause stress to pigs and compromise their welfare. Several studies found positive outcomes to mitigate weaning stress when piglets were socialized (i.e. co-mingled) or...

The aim of the study was to assess the effect of two different stunning methods on the level of blood stress indicators (cortisol, insulin, glucose) and rabbit meat quality. The experiment was conducted on crossbreds...

This experiment compared the stress responses of piglets to tail docking. Two hundred and eighty-eight piglets were allocated to the following treatments at 2 d post-farrowing: (1) sham handling treatment; (2) surgical castration; (3) tail...

Reptiles are popular as pets and it is, therefore, important to understand how different aspects of housing and husbandry impact on their behaviour and welfare. One potential cause of stress in captive reptiles is interaction...

This article describes the successful rehoming of 60 Malawi cichlids from a vivarium at Stanford University to San Diego Zoo and the California Academy of Sciences.

Maintaining the hooves of swine in research is vital to their health and welfare. Ideal flooring provides stable footing and a surface for wearing down the hooves. Otherwise, injuries can occur, or repeated anesthesia may...

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