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. 

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...

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...

We investigated the effect of different farrowing systems on the behavior of sows and piglets. In total, 22 hybrid sows (Yorkshire × Landrace) were randomly assigned into three farrowing systems, farrowing crate (FC), free farrowing...

One way to reduce the negative impact of farrowing crates on sow welfare is to limit confinement of sows from the onset of farrowing until the end of the critical period of piglets’ life a...

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...

In animal studies on bone healing, the effect of housing space and physical activity are seldom taken into account. Bone formation was evaluated in New Zealand White rabbits (mean ± SEM BW: 3.9 ± 0.11...

The aim of the present study was to classify and characterise pigs with tail lesions using a combined parameter based on the frequency and duration of tail lesions and to find out whether biologically relevant...

Cage housing of growing rabbits is associated with welfare concerns. An alternative system that has already been introduced involves pens with non-wire floors. An important aspect of group pens, for which the best solution has...

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...

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...

The housing of gestating sows in groups requires sound information about the adapted design of the pen floor. Slatted concrete floors are commonly used for effective drainage of manure but can cause feet injuries and...

The aim of the present study was to develop and evaluate a new housing system for fattening rabbits. Data were collected on a farm with rabbits housed either under new conditions (NC) or established (conventional)...

In order for a scientific project involving animals to run smoothly, it is essential that the Animal Technologists have a good understanding of both the animals they are dealing with and of the project itself...

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of free-farrowing pens and farrowing crates on the health parameters and the suckling behaviour of sows and their piglets, which were housed in farrowing...

Pens with farrowing crate (FC) and two differently designed free-farrowing pens (LH-pens: 7.3 m², plastic flooring; GH-pens: 5 m², cast-iron and concrete flooring) were compared regarding piglet losses and postpartum sow behaviour (all treatments) and...

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...

We evaluated the effects of two types of colony cages, in which rabbit does were always in a group (C1), and where they were in combi cages furnished with removable internal walls to allow both...

There are conflicting reports regarding the effect of farrowing house accommodation on piglet performance. The aim of this investigation was to use a systematic review and meta-analyses to summarise the results of publications that focused...

In Germany, an animal welfare ordinance for the housing of rabbits was issued which did not take into account the current investigations on floor design. The aim of the investigations was to study the effects...

A case control study with a questionnaire was carried out to compare feeding practices, diet composition, housing and management in 78 herds with or without a history of tail-biting in undocked pigs (Sus scrofa) in...

A three-week enrichment preference study trialling different substrates, food and pen structures was carried out in three, group-housed female New Zealand White Rabbits (NZW). Preference results: structural - rabbits spent the most time with a...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...

The hut temperature in outdoor pig production during summer can exceed the upper critical temperature of lactating sows. Therefore, sows may experience hyperthermia, a condition which has several adverse consequences for the welfare of both...

In this study, the possibility of introducing an elevated platform to a piglet pen was explored as a way of increasing available space and creating functional areas. On the platform, nine different manipulable materials were...

Although sow confinement at farrowing is inherently stressful, farrowing crates remain in widespread commercial use. Sows adapt to their environment, however adaptation may be counter-productive if the farrowing system changes. The current study observed the...

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