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 welfare of juvenile Finnraccoons (Nyctereutes procyonoides ussuriensis) was compared between various housing conditions through the measurement of day-time behaviour and physiological variables. For the small control treatment (SC), Finnraccoons were raised in pairs in...

Pasture access for dairy cows is highly valued both by cows and the public at large. When pasture access is not feasible, farmers can provide cows with alternative forms of outdoor access, such as an...

Sheep lameness is a major concern among farmers and policymakers with significant impacts on animal welfare standards as well as financial and production performance. The present study attempts to identify the relative importance of environmental...

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...

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...

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 this study was to determine the effects of two housing systems (thermal plastic greenhouse roofs—PGR—vs. without roof—PWR) on health, welfare, and finishing performance of zebu steers in cold arid environments. A total...

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...

Threshold temperatures for cold stress in sheep are not well understood, the available literature is somewhat dated and reports relate to winter temperatures that are relatively benign. Sheep’s preferences for outdoor versus indoor environments, when...

Dairy housing systems can have major implications on how freely cows move within their environment and how fully they can express their behavioral repertoire, impacting overall welfare. To ensure housing systems are meeting the needs...

First-week mortality is an important performance index as well as an important welfare indicator. The aim of the present study was to identify internal (individual-dependent) and external (management or environmental) factors that could influence the...

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...

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...

The gut microbiota of chicken has received much attention due to its importance for bird health, food safety, and performance. In the United States, the impending transition to cage-free housing environments has raised many questions...

Barn flooring and bedding management are two critical issues in intensive dairy goat facilities. This study aimed at identifying the most appropriate seasonal floorings through observation of the behavioral characteristics of dairy goats. Four different...

Little is known about the effect of shelter design on sheltering behavior in out-wintered cattle. In this pilot study, we explored the effects of two different shelter designs (rectangular: 50 m2 vs. hexagonal 53 m2...

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...

Studies investigating the welfare of commercial-line broiler chickens raised in houses with outdoor access in the tropics are scarce, and none have investigated whether responses vary according to indoor conditions. Hence, we assessed the effects...

Leg problems are highly prevalent in modern broiler production and provision of environmental enrichment could be a strategy to improve leg health. Different types of environmental enrichment have undergone evaluation. Our objective was to conduct...

Cows housed indoors with cubicles are probably more restricted in their choice of lying posture and orientation compared with cows housed on pasture. We therefore compared lying postures on pasture in Uruguay and the Netherlands...

Dairy calf welfare concerns are growing and new evidence suggests that the early life environment influences appropriate physical, behavioral, and cognitive development lasting into adulthood. This review highlights key evidence for the impacts of housing...

Twenty-eight bulls weighing 227 ± 6.8 (SD) kg were randomly assigned to four concentrate levels (1-1.5 kg [low level of concentrate {LC}], 1.5-2 kg [medium level of concentrate], 2-2.5 kg [high level of concentrate {HC}]...

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...

In fiscal year 2016, agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats, and cattle represented 10% of the 820 812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife...

Dairy cows are increasingly housed indoors, either year-round or for long stretches over the winter and around parturition. This may create health and welfare issues. In cattle, lying and walking are highly motivated, and herds...

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