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. 

Pregnant (dry) sows (S) are fed a rationed amount of feed to maintain healthy weight and production but this does not satisfy their hunger. This study measured the extent of feed restriction compared to sows'...

Alternative feed supplements have shown promising effects in terms of performance, but their effects on welfare have had little evaluation. In the present study, we aimed at evaluating the effect of diet supplementation on welfare...

Temporary crating is considered as a step towards improved welfare in lactating sows. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate effects of confinement period (CP) and farrowing pen-type (PT) on health-related measures. Four...

Maintaining the hooves of swine in research is vital to their health and welfare. Ideal flooring provides stable footing and a surface for wearing down the hooves. Otherwise, injuries can occur, or repeated anesthesia may...

Plasma lipid and glucose levels are important parameters for evaluating the onset and development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. In clinical and experimental studies of humans or mice, fasting is often required before testing plasma...

Most farrowing facilities in the United States use stalls and heat lamps to improve sow and piglet productivity. This study investigated these factors by comparing production outcomes for three different farrowing stall layouts (traditional, expanded...

This study investigated the effects of two factors, enriched environment (EE) and different crossbreeds, on the maternal behavior and physiology of Min-pig hybrid sows. The analysis was performed on a total of 72 multiparous sows...

Successful pig farming needs the best conditions of cleanliness in the housings. The present study examined for the first time whether a robot scraper usually applied in dairy farming is usable in sow housings for...

Under natural conditions, sows and piglets abandon the nest between 7 and 14 days postpartum and re-join the group. If given the choice, commercially housed sows begin to nurse piglets communally around this time. The...

Successful pig farming needs the best conditions of cleanliness in the housings. The present study examined for the first time whether a robot scraper usually applied in dairy farming is usable in sow housings for...

Creep feed intake is variable and may be partly homeostatically and exploratory driven. We studied effects of maternal feed restriction and a ‘play-feeder’ on piglet behaviour and performance. 37 Litters received creep feed in a...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...

It was the aim of the study to investigate the effect of a prolonged suckling period and group housing before weaning on tail biting in undocked nursery pigs. To do this, experiments with three treatment...

Tail biting is a common issue within commercial pig production. It is mainly an indicator of inadequate housing environment and results in reduced health welfare and production. To reduce the impact of tail biting, pigs...

One strategy adopted on farms to deal with managing large litters involves removing piglets from their mothers at seven days old to be reared in specialised accommodation with milk replacer. Effects on piglet behaviour, growth...

Alternative lactation housing could reduce aggression when sows are mixed. We aimed to compare the effects of mixing sows in lactation (with or without piglets), at weaning or after insemination, and determine the effects of...

According to the European Union Council Directive 2008/120EC, measures to minimise the risk for tail biting shall be taken before practicing tail docking, e.g. provision of manipulable material. Still, >90% of the pigs within EU...

Artificial rearing involves removing piglets from their mother at seven days of age and feeding them milk replacer until weaning. Earlylife rearing conditions can influence piglets' mental development, as reflected by their emotional state and...

In experiment 1, a total of 30 weaning pigs were allotted to three dietary treatments to check the palatability of the dietary feed. Diet treatments were as follows: reference diets = basal diets + 0.05%...

This study aimed to evaluate whether adding straw to a loose-farrowing house promotes maternal functions and production. Forty-eight sows (Landrace× Large White) were housed in either a farrowing pen without straw (C, n = 24)...

To reduce piglet mortality from overlay, farrowing crates confine the sow, restricting nest building activities. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of confinement in the lead up to and during parturition...

This research studied whether floor feeding group-housed sows their daily allocation over multiple feed drops per day provides more equitable feeding opportunities in later drops. Over four time replicates, 275 sows were mixed into groups...

Understanding eliminative behaviour in pigs is a priority for designing pig facilities. Pigs prefer to lie in areas separated from where they eliminate (urinate, defecate). Welfare-friendly housing facilities include separate areas for lying (solid floors)...

Efficiency is not the only goal in animal production. Nowadays, consumers are very concerned about animal welfare and can decide their preferences based on this aspect. The present study evaluated the effect of variation in...

This work aimed at evaluating the effects of housing system, pen floor type, and lactation management on rabbit doe and kit performance throughout a reproductive cycle, including categorization of aggressiveness and injuries. Forty multiparous pregnant...

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