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. 

The objective was to evaluate the impacts of a complex environment and stocking density on Ross 708 broiler chicken behaviors. Eight pens contained either high complexity (HC) or low complexity (LC) environments, and high (HD)...

Zebrafish is a valuable model for neuroscience research, but the housing conditions to which it is exposed daily may be impairing its welfare status. The use of environmental enrichment and the refinement of methodology for...

Vocalization seems to be a viable source of signal for assessing broiler welfare. However, it may require an understanding of the birds’ signals, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The delivery of calls with a specific set...

Despite its popularity in research, there is very little scientifically validated knowledge about the best practices on zebrafish (Danio rerio) husbandry, which has led to several facilities having their own husbandry protocols. This study was...

In conventional rearing systems, fast-growing broiler chickens commonly experience welfare issues, such as contact dermatitis, walking difficulties or a lack of expression of species-specific behaviours. Enriching their environment may be a way to improve their...

Vocalization and other behavior signals are used as tools to assess animal welfare in beef calves. This paper aimed to compare vocal parameters and behavior signals expressed by beef calves submitted either to ear tagging...

Vocalization may communicate the emotional state in vocal animals. We aimed to describe and compare vocalization and other behavioral signs of cow-calf pairs in emotionally negative and positive situations, and the potential influence of genetic...

As a global society, we have a duty to provide suitable care and conditions for farmed livestock to protect animal welfare and ensure the sustainability of our food supply. The suitability and biological impacts of...

Stocking density and trough space allowance can potentially impact sheep welfare during live export voyages. The aim of this study was to assess the welfare implications for sheep housed at five allometric stocking densities, with...

The effects of stocking density on fish welfare are complex and involve many interacting parameters. This complex relationship between fish welfare, stocking density and influencing factors make it challenging to define a specific optimal (“golden”)...

The objective of this study was to describe the ontogeny of the severe feather pecking (SFP), gentle feather pecking (GFP), aggressive pecking (AP), and enrichment pecking (EP) of non-beak-trimmed Lohmann Brown (LB)-pullets during the first...

Vocal emissions in non-human mammals can be used as non-invasive indicators of animal emotion and welfare. Therefore, we aimed to validate the use of acoustic parameters as indicators of affective states and welfare in farmed...

The broiler industry has come under sustained pressure from welfare organizations to improve broiler welfare. Breed and stocking density are important factors for broiler welfare and are often specified as criteria for higher welfare systems...

Vocalizations are used by group-living animals as aggressive and submissive signals during agonistic interactions, and are also used to maintain dominance hierarchies in many species. For gregarious strepsirrhines with large vocal repertoires and differentiated dominance...

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...

Access to pasture is a main benefit of free-range broiler housing systems, yet the level of outdoor stocking density on broiler animal welfare remains unsettled. The growth, feather damage, pasture ranging and behaviors were assessed...

The teleost zebrafish (Danio rerio), an established model for human skeletal diseases, is reared under controlled conditions with defined parameters for temperature and photoperiod. Studies aimed at defining the proper rearing density have been performed...

In a 2018 AALAS webinar on Sheep and Goat Analgesia, Dr. Susie Vogel, a small ruminant expert, introduced the concept of getting sheep and goats to willingly take medication by putting it in a tasty...

Barren housing and high stocking densities may contribute to negative affective states in broiler chickens, reducing their welfare. We investigated the effects of environmental complexity and stocking density on broilers’ attention bias (measure of anxiety)...

During the development of potential new medicines or agrochemicals, an assessment of the safety profile to humans and environmental species is conducted using a range of different in silico and in vitro techniques in conjunction...

Resting behaviours make up a large part of the daily time budget of broilers. However, in intensive broiler production systems disruptions of resting behaviours occur, where resting individuals get disturbed by active individuals. Such interruptions...

The zebrafish is becoming an increasingly popular research animal around the world. Its welfare is affected by an array of environmental factors, such as food access and water quality. Holding density is an important welfare...

Housing systems and environmental features can influence beef cattle welfare. To date, little information has been synthesized on this topic. The aim of this scoping review was to examine the relationship between housing and welfare...

Blood sampling through the caudal vasculature is a widely used technique in fish biology for investigating organismal health and physiology. In live fishes, it can provide a quick, easy and relatively non‐invasive method for obtaining...

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...

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