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. 

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...

In commercial flocks of laying hens, keel bone fractures (KBFs) are prevalent and associated with behavioural indicators of pain. However, whether their impact is severe enough to induce a depressive-like state of chronic stress is...

Responses to ambiguous and aversive stimuli (e.g. via tests of judgment bias and measures of startle amplitude) can indicate mammals’ affective states. We hypothesised that such findings generalize to birds, and that these two responses...

Applying objective measures to assess the emotional states of animals is an important area of research and essential for improving animal welfare. In this study, we have built upon previous research to test whether ear...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

Assessing emotional states of dairy calves is an essential part of welfare assessment, but standardized protocols are absent. The present study aims at assessing the emotional states of dairy calves and establishing a reliable standard...

Understanding the emotions of dairy cows is primarily important in enhancing the level of welfare and provide a better life on farm. This study explored whether eye white and ear posture can reliably contribute to...

Individual housing of dairy calves is common farm practice, but has negative effects on calf welfare. A compromise between practice and welfare may be housing calves in pairs. We compared learning performances and affective states...

When measuring animals’ valenced behavioural responses to stimuli, the Conditioned Place Preference (CPP) test goes a step further than many approach-based and avoidance-based tests by establishing whether a learned preference for, or aversion to, the...

The positive aspect of emotions, like pleasure, remains overlooked in birds. Our aim was to contribute to the exploration of facial indicators of positive emotions. To observe contrasting emotional expressions, we used two lines of...

The presence of a conspecific can ameliorate an individual's stress response. This social buffering is known to be widespread in social mammals but the capacity of birds to act as social buffers has not yet...

Anticipatory behaviours may serve a useful tool in studying positive emotional states in animals. This study aimed to investigate if lambs express anticipatory behaviours for opportunities to play or a food reward and if these...

This work investigated the differences in the reactivity of Sarda (primiparous n = 18, multiparous n = 17) and Dorset (multiparous n = 8) breeds of sheep and their singleton lambs to two challenging test...

There is evidence that the presence of a conspecific can alter the experience of pain in humans and other animals. This ‘social buffering’ may be mediated by factors such as relatedness and familiarity. This study...

Fear in farm animals has been extensively studied because of its close relation to animal welfare. Numerous studies have categorized the behavioral responses of animals to stimuli that can elicit a fear reaction under social...

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