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 soft‐bodied cephalopods including octopus, cuttlefish, and squid are broadly considered to be the most cognitively advanced group of invertebrates. Previous research has demonstrated that these large‐brained molluscs possess a suite of cognitive attributes that...

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...

The aim of this study was to investigate if calves’ play behaviour and non-nutritive sucking behaviour, as indirect measures of welfare status, are associated with the age of the calf when group housed, age when...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Requirements for animal and dairy products are increasing gradually in emerging economic bodies. However, it is critical and challenging to maintain the health and welfare of the increasing population of dairy cattle, especially the dairy...

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small and highly conserved non-coding RNA molecules that orchestrate a wide range of biological processes through the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. An intriguing aspect in identifying these molecules as biomarkers is...

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...

For gregarious species such as domestic cattle, the social environment is a very important determinant of their welfare and fitness. Understanding the complexity of cows' relationships can assist the development of management practices that are...

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...

Welfare assessment has traditionally been performed by direct observation by humans, providing information at only selected points in time. Recently, this assessment method has been questioned, as ‘Precision Livestock Farming’ technologies may be able to...

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...

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...

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...

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...

While non-human primate studies have long been conducted in laboratories, and more recently at zoological parks, sanctuaries are increasingly considered a viable setting for research. Accredited sanctuaries in non-range countries house thousands of primates formerly...

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...

The quality of the social environment should be studied as one of the welfare components of dairy herds. Licking and preference between cows are important socio-positive experiences in this context.The aims of this study were...

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...

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