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. 
To assess the welfare of captive animals, validated measures, so-called ‘welfare indicators’, are required. We used a triangulation approach to investigate the extent to which different measures converged to provide corroborating evidence of welfare. Laying...
The main conditions and diseases considered painful in dairy cows are mastitis, lameness, calving (including dystocia and caesarean section) and metritis. The cattle literature reports that deviation from normal daily activity patterns (both increased and/or...
Modern herpetoculture has seen a rise in welfare-related habitat modifications, although ethologically-informed enclosure design and evidence-based husbandry are lacking. The diversity that exists within snakes complicates standardizing snake welfare assessment tools and evaluation techniques. Utilizing...
There is increasing recognition that farm animal welfare standards should ensure positive welfare, as well as prevent negative welfare. Resources that are valued by an animal and that provide opportunities to engage in motivated behaviours...
Feather pecking remains a serious problem in poultry farming. This study aimed to identify risk factors for plumage damage as a proxy for feather pecking, and the predictive value of practical animal-based parameters. Data were...
It is widely acknowledged that environmental enrichment can improve animals’ welfare and emotional state. This study used cognitive bias and response to a novel object to assess the effect of enriched housing on emotional state...
Group level measures of welfare flocks have been criticized on the grounds that they give only average measures and overlook the welfare of individual animals. However, we here show that the group-level optical flow patterns...
Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (SONFH) is a condition documented in humans and animals exposed to chronic steroid administration. The rabbit has become a preferred animal model for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of...
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...
In order to base welfare assessment of dairy cattle on real-time measurement, integration of valid and reliable precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies is needed. The aim of this study was to provide a systematic overview...
Anticipatory behaviour occurs in the period before a reward or other positive event is presented and has been interpreted as an indicator of the welfare and emotional state of animals. The use of this indicator...
Gait defects, assessed as gait score (GS), is a common welfare problem in broiler chicken production. The aim of this study was to examine whether birds with GS2 experience pain and poor locomotor ability compared...
This study investigated the effect of milk allowance on the suitability of behavioural and physiological responses, individually and in combination, as early disease indicators. A total of 120 heifer calves were assigned into a 5...
Evaluation of animal behavior provides information on health and well-being in animals. In this preliminary study, we investigated the effectiveness of an accelerometry approach to evaluate changes in health status of cattle by combining physical...
Humans interact with fishes in many contexts including aquaculture, scientific study and companion animals. In all of these contexts, fish welfare can be compromised through anthropogenic means. Concern for fish welfare has grown considerably in...
Bovine castration can be performed surgically, chemically, or immunologically and the method used can influence animal welfare. The use of facial expressions is an efficient tool to quantify pain, but there has been limited study...
Successful detection of pain in cows could circumscribe the therapeutic window for treatment before the cow's condition deteriorates further. While severe clinical cases that are characterized as painful have clear behavioral and physiological manifestations, mild...
Public concern for farm animal welfare is increasing. Animal welfare is defined as the balance of positive and negative emotions, where positive emotions are key to a good animal life. Emotion is defined as an...
This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...
The Welfare Quality® assessment protocol (WQ) is the most extensive way to measure animal welfare. This study was set up to determine if resource-based welfare indicators, that are easier and faster to measure, could replace...
The opportunities for natural animal behaviours in pastures imply animal welfare benefits. Nevertheless, monitoring the animals can be challenging. The use of sensors, cameras, positioning equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles in large pastures has the...
Many protocols have been developed to assess farm animal welfare. However, the validity of these protocols is still subject to debate. The present study aimed to compare nine welfare assessment protocols, namely: (1) Welfare Quality©...
Castration has been demonstrated to cause pain in sheep. However, it is routinely performed for management purposes. Electroencephalography (EEG) has been used successfully to measure pain in lambs in response to castration and other husbandry...
The evaluation and assessment of the level of pain calves are experiencing is important, as the experience of pain (e.g., due to routine husbandry procedures) severely affects the welfare of calves. Studies about the recognition...
Blood biochemistry parameters are valuable tools for monitoring fish health. Their baseline values are still undefined for a multitude of farmed fish species. In this study, changes in the blood profile of rainbow trout females...

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