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. 

Animal welfare is one of the most challenging issues in modern farm animal husbandry. Animal welfare indicators can be used to monitor welfare on farms or at slaughterhouses, with footpad dermatitis (FPD) being one of...

This article describes the steps for making a DIY guinea pig or rabbit cardboard foraging ball. Pictures are provided for each step as well as the completed ball. These cardboard foraging balls can be made...

Natural light with ultraviolet spectrum (UV) influences the birds´ perception, the reflectivity of their plumage and affects bird behavior. Therefore, in Germany, laying hens kept in barns should be provided with daylight inlets. Nevertheless, lighting...

Within Australia, free-range systems are prevalent, but pullets destined for range access are reared indoors. This mismatch between rearing and layer housing may hinder adaptation to the free-range environment. Rearing enrichments could enhance pullet development...

Assessing and treating cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is a growing concern for institutions housing great apes, as it is a major cause of mortality in all four taxa managed in human care. As part...

Beak trimming in laying hens limits the negative consequences of injurious pecking, but could be prohibited by future regulations. This study assessed a combination of management strategies during the rearing period (objects, perches, music, human...

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...

The feed restriction applied during rearing of broiler breeders inflicts chronic hunger, and frustration due to unfulfilled behavioural needs for feeding. To alleviate the welfare problems associated with feed restriction, qualitative feed restriction allows a...

Hens reared in aviaries (AVI) as pullets have improved spatial abilities compared to hens reared in non-enriched cages (CON). However, this effect on behavior has been shown only to 23 weeks of age. Lohmann LSL-Lite...

Birds kept in commercial production systems can be exposed to multiple stressors from early life and this alters the development of different morphological, immunological and behavioural indicators. We explore the hypothesis that provision of a...

The aim of the study was to assess the effect of two different stunning methods on the level of blood stress indicators (cortisol, insulin, glucose) and rabbit meat quality. The experiment was conducted on crossbreds...

Broiler chickens show a preference for platform perches over traditional bar perches. Further information is needed on the optimal provision of these perches in order for them to be successfully installed in commercial systems. This...

Fast-growing broilers spend most their time inactive and are therefore prone to experience leg problems. Environmental enrichment that facilitates intrinsically motivated behaviours can potentially promote activity and reduce leg problems, thereby improving broiler welfare. A...

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...

Under intensive rearing conditions, the welfare of broiler chickens may be at risk depending on genotype and sex, due to their different growth rates. The practice of quantitative feed restriction may also impact on welfare...

Enrichments during pullet rearing may improve adaptation and welfare of hens as they move from indoor rearing to a free-range system. Individual variation in outdoor ranging may also affect welfare. This study assessed the effects...

Social grooming is often exchanged between individuals in many primate species. Rates of bidirectional (or simultaneous mutual) grooming vary across primate species, and its function is not yet fully understood. For example, mutual grooming is...

Reduced mobility in broilers can contribute to leg health problems. Environmental enrichment has been suggested as one approach to combat this through stimulating increased physical activity. Past studies have tested the effect of environmental enrichments...

The Becton Dickinson (BD) Research Animal Care Program has developed an acclimation and enrichment program that has enhanced animal welfare for studies requiring single housing, contributed to a culture of care, increased transparency, and improved...

Enrichments during pullet rearing may improve adaptation and welfare of hens as they move from indoor rearing to a free-range system. Individual variation in outdoor ranging may also affect welfare. This study assessed the effects...

The soiling of bedding on modern turkey farms combined with turkeys’ reduced ability and opportunity to perch and roost at elevation, forces them to spend most, if not all, of their time in contact with...

Broiler breeders are feed-restricted during rearing to avoid the negative consequences of obesity during lay due to their genetic potential for fast growth rate. Feed restriction leads to chronic hunger, frustration and lack of satiety...

Broiler breeders are kept for the production of fertile eggs. They face serious welfare problems like aggressive behaviour of the males towards females during mating. Furthermore, broiler breeders are usually kept without perches which are...

Tamarins and marmosets are small-bodied social callitrichines. Wild callitrichines feed on exudates, such as sap and gum; particularly, marmosets are mainly gummivores, while tamarins consume gums only occasionally and opportunistically. Zoo marmosets and tamarins are...

Rabbits are popular companion animals. There are numerous welfare issues affecting the majority of the population, including the fact that most rabbits are fearful when handled. Pet Remedy ™ (Unex Designs) is an herbal product...

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