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 volume reviews the broad topic of welfare in nonhuman primates under human care. Chapters detail the history of primates in captivity, ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of nonhuman primates as entertainment or...

Depression and anxiety are some of the most prevalent and debilitating mental health conditions in humans. They can present on their own or as co-morbidities with other disorders. Like humans, non-human primates (NHPs) can develop...

The monitoring and assessment of animals is important for their health and welfare. The appropriate selection of multiple, validated, and feasible welfare assessment indicators is required to effectively identify compromises or improvements to animal welfare...

To understand wildlife responses to the changing environment, it is useful to examine their physiological responses and particularly their endocrine status. Here, we validated an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to non-invasively quantify fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM)...

This paper presents and illustrates, with a working example, a hypothesis for the assessment of ongoing severity before and during an experiment that will enable humane endpoints and intervention points to be applied accurately and...

To accurately assess pain and support broadly-based analgesic protocols to mitigate swine pain, it is imperative to develop and validate a species-specific pain scale. The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical validity...

Accredited zoos and aquariums are required to have a welfare assessment process in place for the animals in their care. However, welfare assessment theoretical frameworks and methodologies vary widely. Previous studies have shown that taxonomic...

Species-specific welfare indicators are important in promoting positive welfare for zoo animals. Reptiles are a notoriously understudied group in regards to behavior, welfare needs, and husbandry requirements. Using opportunistically obtained samples, we evaluated how blood...

Modern herpetoculture has seen a rise in welfare-related habitat modifications, although ethologically-informed enclosure design and evidence-based husbandry are lacking. The diversity that exists within snakes complicates standardizing snake welfare assessment tools and evaluation techniques. Utilizing...

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...

For animals undergoing rehabilitation it is vital to monitor welfare in a way that is feasible, practical, and limits stress to the animal. The industry gold standard is to assess welfare under the Five Domains...

The stall-housing system is commonly used in the modern swine industry in many countries; however, long-term space restrictions can cause affective and physiological abnormalities in sows. The pupil light reflex (PLR) can reflect the psychological...

Recent years have witnessed major advances in the ability of computerized systems to track the positions of animals as they move through large and unconstrained environments. These systems have so far been a great boon...

Animal welfare is a dynamic process, and its evaluation must be similarly dynamic. The development of ongoing behavior monitoring programs in zoos and aquariums is a valuable tool for identifying meaningful changes in behavior and...

Proper methods of assessment to objectively identify pain are essential for welfare improvements of piglets undergoing surgical castration on commercial farms. The Piglet Grimace Scale (PGS) is used to identify changes in facial expressions caused...

Research primates may undergo surgical procedures making effective pain management essential to ensure good animal welfare and unbiased scientific data. Adequate pain mitigation is dependent on whether veterinarians, technicians, researchers, and caregivers can recognize and...

The occurrence of tail biting is one of the most important animal welfare problems in pig farming and needs to be recognised early to reduce injuries and suffering. The posture of the tail could be...

Pigs are common research models and are strong animals that can be difficult to restrain. Improper restraint can put pigs and research personnel at risk for injury and induce stress, which can affect research outcomes...

The intense nature of pig production has increased the animals’ exposure to stressful conditions, which may be detrimental to their welfare and productivity. Some of the most common sources of stress in pigs are extreme...

In humans, contrasting emotional states can lead to a broadening or narrowing of attentional scope. Whether this is also the case in animals has yet to be investigated. If confirmed, measurement of attentional scope has...

The post-weaning environment in commercial pig nursery buildings is typically devoid of both the sow and her semiochemicals. Among other factors, the loss of maternal odors may contribute to post-weaning stress. In this work, we...

In humans, contrasting emotional states can lead to a broadening or narrowing of attentional scope. Whether this is also the case in animals has yet to be investigated. If confirmed, measurement of attentional scope has...

Pigs are common research models and are strong animals that can be difficult to restrain. Improper restraint can put pigs and research personnel at risk for injury and induce stress, which can affect research outcomes...

Maintaining a high level of animal welfare is essential in zoos, sanctuaries and aquaria for ethical, legislative and functional reasons. Therefore, it is necessary to have welfare assessment protocols that can be incorporated into daily...

Designers and researchers who work with animals need to employ an array of ethical competencies to guarantee the welfare of animals taking part in animal-centered research. The emerging field of Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI), which deals...

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