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. 

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...

Heart rate (HR) is a vital bio-signal that is relatively easy to monitor with contact sensors and is related to a living organism’s state of health, stress and well-being. The objective of this study was...

Pigs are an ideal model for treating osteochondral defects, though their sedentary nature could impair their healing when being used for one of these projects. Following joint injury, some level of lameness is anticipated. Developing...

How many of us have had this experience? We go to a conference, we read an article, we watch a video. We understand operant conditioning. We grasp the concepts behind clicker training, target training, and...

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...

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...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

Provision of rooting material as enrichment for pigs has been primarily oriented towards reducing negative affect (suffering). Information is also needed on the impact of different types of rooting materials in promoting positive affect (pleasure)...

Intensive pig management involves in a commercial setting the housing and implementation of certain procedures, such as castration and tail docking, which may be stressful for the animal. Good farming practices include the reduction of...

Animal training is meant to teach specific behavioral responses to specific cues. Clicker training (CT) is a popular training method based on the use of a device that emits a sound of double-click to be...

Animals’ tail posture and motion play an important role in communication, amongst others. In domestic pigs, the debate around tail docking and tail biting has made the tail an important research topic, and tail-related behaviour...

Measuring vital signs is central to medical practice, but they are difficult to monitor in awake laboratory animals. We examined the feasibility of a noninvasive device [Cortrium C3 device] for telemetric assessment of respiration rate...

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...

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)...

Training nonhuman primates (NHPs) to perform cognitive tasks is essential for many neuroscientific investigations, yet laboratory training is a time-consuming process with inherent limitations. Habituating NHPs to the laboratory staff and experimental equipment can take...

Societal concerns about animal welfare have triggered the movement of gestating sows from individual stalls to group housing in many countries. Common methods of assessing sow welfare focus on overt physical ailments, and potentially neglect...

Infrared thermography (IRT) or thermal imaging is increasingly being used as a non-invasive method to gain information on animals' physiological and emotional state. IRT has the potential to serve as a non-invasive quantitative assessment method...

The neurobiological response to gentle touch remains poorly understood, especially in the context of human-animal interaction. A novel approach allowed recording the pig electroencephalogram (EEG) cranially epidurally and wirelessly during positive interactions with a human...

The inclusion of emotional indicators in farm monitoring methods can improve welfare assessments. Studies in controlled conditions have suggested that increased tail movement is an indicator of positive emotions in pigs, while others have proposed...

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...

For humans and for non-human primates heart rate is a reliable indicator of an individual’s current physiological state, with applications ranging from health checks to experimental studies of cognitive and emotional state. In humans, changes...

Health monitoring, enrichment, training procedures and techniques, as well as instructions for the care of vascular access ports, are outlined in this paper. The procedures described herein helped maintain a successful, long-term research population of...

The assessment and provision of welfare in farm animals has become a major issue in animal science. A key element for providing good welfare is the enabling of positive affective states in the animals. As...

Over the past year, the large animal care staff at our institution was introduced to an unfamiliar breed of pig, the Ossabaw Island pig. Not only were they tasked with adapting to this unique research...

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