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. 

Pet rabbit welfare is a hidden crisis: Inappropriately housed, fed, and not routinely provided healthcare—rabbits can often suffer painful conditions and shortened lifespans. This study provides novel understanding of owners’ perceptions of rabbits’ mental capabilities...

Pain induces deficits in appreciation of rewards (i.e. anhedonia) and variation in response to pain may be partly explained by individual differences in general expectations (i.e. optimism). Dairy calves are routinely subjected to painful procedures...

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...

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...

Animals show various behavioural, neural and physiological changes in response to losing aggressive encounters. Here, we investigated affective state, which are emotion-like processes influenced by positive or negative experiences, in a territorial fish following aggressive...

The number of fish used in research has increased in the last decades. Anaesthesia is required when fish must be held immobile and it is crucial to promote fish welfare, because these vertebrates can show...

Traditional animal welfare paradigms have focused on maintaining physical health and mitigating negative impacts to wellbeing. Recently, however, the field has increasingly recognized the importance of positive welfare (i.e., mental and physical states that exceed...

Calvarial bone surgery on rabbits is frequently performed. This report aims to document a simple and practical anaesthetic and perioperative management for this procedure. Fourteen male New Zealand white rabbits were included in the study...

In this review, we focus primarily on the refinement of common methods used in fish research based on emerging knowledge with the aim of improving the welfare of fish used in scientific studies. We consider...

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...

Fish welfare is still a relatively new field. As such, regulations and protocols to ensure fish welfare are currently limited and vary considerably in different jurisdictions. This is in part because of the ongoing controversy...

This study assessed the efficacy of pre-operative injected lignocaine and peri-operative topical vapocoolant spray, administered as most practical for incorporation into routine calf castration procedures. Calves were randomly allocated to: (1) sham castration (SHAM); (2)...

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...

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...

Dairy calf welfare concerns are growing and new evidence suggests that the early life environment influences appropriate physical, behavioral, and cognitive development lasting into adulthood. This review highlights key evidence for the impacts of housing...

Assessing emotional states of dairy calves is an essential part of welfare assessment, but standardized protocols are absent. The present study aims at assessing the emotional states of dairy calves and establishing a reliable standard...

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single subcutaneous injection of meloxicam on scrotal healing, inflammatory response, and behaviour in castrated or castrated and branded beef calves for 42 d...

Understanding the emotions of dairy cows is primarily important in enhancing the level of welfare and provide a better life on farm. This study explored whether eye white and ear posture can reliably contribute to...

Individual housing of dairy calves is common farm practice, but has negative effects on calf welfare. A compromise between practice and welfare may be housing calves in pairs. We compared learning performances and affective states...

Pain in animals is typically assessed using reflexive and physiological responses. These measures allow inferences regarding nociception but provide little basis for conclusions about the affective component of pain (i.e. how negatively the experience is...

To assess the effects of a topical anaesthetic (TA) and buccal meloxicam (BM) on behaviour, maximum wound temperature and wound morphology following amputation dehorning of beef calves, 50 unweaned Hereford calves were randomly allocated to...

Analgesics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use in fish is still limited. Some recommendations on the use of analgesics in fish are currently in the literature; however, information...

The use of pain relief during castration and dehorning of calves on commercial beef operations can be limited by constraints associated with the delivery of analgesic agents. As topical anaesthetic (TA) and buccal meloxicam (MEL)...

The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute and longer-term behavioural and physiological responses caused by administering clove oil under the horn bud of calves and compare these with the responses caused by...

Dystocia is considered painful and stressful for both the dam and the calf, although systematic evidence of this is limited. Few studies have investigated biochemical markers of stress and pain postpartum and whether any adverse...

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