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...

Recognising stress is an important component in maintaining the welfare of captive animal populations, and behavioural observation provides a rapid and non-invasive method to do this. Despite substantial testing in zoo elephants, there has been...

Over the last two decades, criticisms were raised regarding the welfare experienced by elephants in European and North American zoos. Concerns regarding the welfare of zoo-housed elephants in the UK and Europe were consolidated in...

Outdoor and extensive farming systems allow animals to behave in a natural way and are often perceived as welfare friendly. Nonetheless, the natural environment poses multiple challenges to the welfare of animals, sometimes hampering their...

Modern day zoos and aquariums continuously assess the welfare of their animals and use evidence to make informed management decisions. Historically, many of the indicators of animal welfare used to assess the collection are negative...

Animals are likely to appraise events as positive or negative based on their subjective perception, current state and past experiences. We tested the effects of anticipating positive (food anticipation), negative (inaccessible food) and neutral (clicker...

Pressure algometry can be used to quantify mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) in humans and animals. If reliable this may be a useful tool to examine calves for increased mechanical sensitivity, which may be induced by...

Salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA) has been proposed as a potential indicator of welfare for various species, including Asian elephants, and may be related to adrenal cortisol responses. This study aimed to distinguish circadian rhythm effects...

Rabbits are the third species in terms of number of animals reared for meat production in the world. However, in comparison to other species, very few studies have focused on their welfare. The aim of...

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...

Accelerometer-based mobility scoring has focused on cow behaviors such as lying and walking. Accuracy levels as high as 91% have been previously reported. However, there has been limited replication of results. Here, measures previously identified...

For on-farm welfare assessment many automatic methods have been developed to detect indicators of reduced welfare. However, there is still a need to integrate data from single sources to obtain a complete picture of the...

In this study, an appropriate visual scoring system for foot-pad dermatitis was validated, considering the histologically measured depth of the inflammation zone and the histopathological grade (no lesion, mild lesion, ulcer). The aim being to...

Eye temperature measured using infrared thermography (IRT) can be used as a non-invasive measure of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in cattle. The objective of this study was to evaluate if changes in eye temperature...

The welfare status of elephants under human care has been a contentious issue for two decades or more in numerous western countries. Much effort has gone into assessing the welfare of captive elephants at individual...

Required auditing of on-farm broiler welfare in the United States has increased; however, a lack of validated tools exists for assessment of enrichment. National Chicken Council (NCC) guidelines were used on a subset of 300...

Potential measures suitable for assessing welfare in pasture-based beef cow–calf systems in New Zealand were identified from Welfare Quality and UC Davis Cow-Calf protocols. These were trialled on a single farm and a potential protocol...

Mastitis in dairy cattle is extremely costly both in economic and welfare terms and is one of the most significant drivers of antimicrobial usage in dairy cattle. A critical step in the prevention of mastitis...

In order to assess the level of sheep welfare in small traditional farms as compared with farms of increased size we evaluated several animal-based parameters and applied a modified Animal Needs Index (ANI) protocol in...

Continuous assessment of the herd status is important in order to monitor and adjust to changes in the welfare and health status but can be time consuming and expensive. In this study, herd status indicators...

Several established models in human and veterinary medicine exist to evaluate an individual health or disease status. Many of these seem unsuitable for further epidemiological research aimed at discovering underlying influential factors. As a case...

This study investigates for the first time the application of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) to the analysis of acute pain expression in castrated lambs. Eighty 2-day-old male lambs were allocated to one of 4 groups...

Regular body mass (BM) monitoring plays a key role in preventative health care of zoo animals. In some species, including African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), the process of weighing can be challenging...

The intention of this study was to develop standards for a welfare assessment protocol by validating potential categorisation thresholds for the assessment of beef farms in New Zealand. Thirty-two measures, based on the Welfare Quality...

A common goal of captive animal institutions is to create environments that allow for the most naturalistic behavior from their animals. Behavioral data is often used as a measure of how an animal is thriving...

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