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. 

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)...

Animal behavior is an important aspect in the assessment of animal welfare. Passive infrared detectors (PID), detecting thermal changes to measure activity, have already been used to record data on the behavior of groups of...

Affective states are key determinants of animal welfare. Assessing such states under field conditions is thus an important goal in animal welfare science. The rapid Defence Cascade (DC) response (startle, freeze) to sudden unexpected stimuli...

Pig cryptorchidism is a congenital anomaly, which requires surgical intervention. Pain assessment in pig farming has some limitations and consumers are increasingly concerned about suffering linked to on-farm procedures. The PGS seems to be a...

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...

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...

A guide for animal welfare assessment of fattening pigs recommends recording some of the indicators for a sample of the animals from a herd. However, it is not certain whether the herd’s level of welfare...

Surgical castration is a painful procedure that is routinely performed without pain relief on commercial pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) farms. Previous research has focused on quantifying piglet pain response through behaviours. However, to date, behavioural...

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...

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether linear and non-linear measures of heart rate variability (HRV) could be used as indicators of piglet castration pain. Thirty piglets were allocated to 1 of 4...

Severity assessment in biomedical research is required by the European authorities. Therefore, a variety of score sheets are available. The first score sheets were designed and introduced by Morton and Griffith (M&G) in 1985, to...

The present study aimed at introducing a reliable and more feasible indicator to evaluate stereotypies in sows in comparison with the ‘Welfare Quality® animal welfare assessment protocol for sows and piglets’. Therefore, the indicators for...

Tail posture (i.e., hanging or curled) has been suggested to be an indicator of tail biting, and hanging tails predisposed to damage. The aim of this study was to investigate if tail posture was feasible...

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...

Tail biting in pigs is an animal welfare problem, and tail biting should be prevented from developing into tail damage. One strategy could be to predict events of tail biting so that the farmer can...

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...

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...

Tail biting is a major welfare and economic problem for indoor pig producers worldwide. Low tail posture is an early warning sign which could reduce tail biting unpredictability. Taking a precision livestock farming approach, we...

Play behaviour in pre-weaned piglets has previously been shown to vary consistently between litters. This study aimed to determine if these pre-weaning litter differences in play behaviour were also consistent in the post-weaning period. Seven...

Detecting a tail biting outbreak early is essential to reduce the risk of pigs getting severe tail damage. A few previous studies suggest that tail posture and behavioural differences can predict an upcoming outbreak. The...

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relation between the tail posture of finishing pigs and tail damage with the aims to use tail posture as (1) a detector of tail damage...

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...

Positive welfare is more than the absence of negative experiences. Nevertheless, there are few feasible animal-based measures for positive welfare. This study aimed to investigate whether object and social play behaviours in pigs, which is...

Tail biting outbreaks in pig farming cause suffering through pain and stress, and producers lose revenue due to carcass condemnation. Reliable behavioural indications of when an outbreak is imminent would provide farmers with tools for...

A better understanding of animal emotions is an important goal in disciplines ranging from neuroscience to animal welfare science, but few reliable tools exist for measuring these emotions. Play behaviour is generally recognized as a...

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