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. 

Anxiety is a physio-psychological state anticipating an imminent threat. In social mammals it is behaviorally expressed via displacement activities and buffered via affiliation. Anxiety research on domestic pigs (Sus scrofa) has mostly focused on abnormal/stereotypic...

The efficacy of analgesics such as meloxicam and ketoprofen to control pain in piglets when mixed with iron dextran (ID) before injection is unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare perceived pain in...

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...

The objective of this study was to find a practical means of reducing pain associated with surgical castration by evaluating the effects of oral meloxicam and topical lidocaine, separately and in combination, on behavioral indicators...

Anthropogenic change is expected to alter environments at alarming rates. To predict the impact of modified environments on social behavior, we must study the relationship between environmental features and collective behavior in a genetically tractable...

Pain management in rabbits can be difficult because they are adept at hiding pain and can be stressed by handling and restraint for injection. The use of opioid analgesics with prolonged durations of activity could...

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...

Analgesic products for piglet castration are critically needed. This requires extensive animal experimentation such as to meet regulatory-required proof of efficacy. At present, there are no validated methods of assessing pain in neonatal piglets. This...

Journeying into the field to study a model organism in its natural habitats. “Seeing them in the wild and seeing what kind of substrates they are on has really helped inform that for us, and...

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...

Animal contests are costly and predicted to be won by the individual with the higher resource-holding potential (RHP). Weight is often used a proxy for RHP; however, victory does not always go to the heaviest...

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...

Intensively housed domestic pigs (Sus scrofa) have little opportunity to perform diverse foraging behaviour though they still seem strongly motivated to do so. Here, we investigated whether the execution of specific behaviours may in itself...

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...

Nose contact is a frequent form of social behaviour in pigs, but the motivational reasons underlying this behaviour remain unclear. We investigated the frequency, direction and type of sow–piglet nosing behaviour and its association with...

Zebrafish is one of the world's most widely used laboratory species, and it is utilized to answer important research questions in disparate fields such as biomedicine, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, toxicology, physiology, and evolution. Despite...

Piglets on commercial pig farms are often tail-docked to reduce the incidence of tail-biting. While this is a painful procedure, piglets are often not provided analgesia or anaesthesia for pain relief. The objectives of this...

Objective: Treatment of inflammation and pain management is an important topic in the welfare of pigs. It is very difficult for veterinary practitioners to choose the most appropriate product for a certain problem. This review...

Surgical castration of piglets is a routine procedure on commercial pig farms, to prevent boar taint and reduce aggression. This procedure is known to cause pain, yet piglets are often not provided appropriate analgesia for...

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...

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...

Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...

Castration and tail docking are common management practices performed on commercial swine farms in the US and around the world to reduce adverse behaviors and the occurrence of boar taint. However, these practices themselves are...

Zebrafish are now one of the most used animal model species in scientific research worldwide. Our current knowledge of wild zebrafish is limited to an estimated range of their natural habitats and their tendencies to...

Cognitive stimulation has been shown to be rewarding and capable of eliciting positive emotions in several species. In contrast to the abundant learning and exploration opportunities available in nature, captive environments can be under-stimulating—with the...

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