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. 

Confinement and restriction of movement are a reality for most dairy cows. Providing outdoor access is one method to increase movement opportunities. However, leading cows to an outdoor exercise area increases their exposure to manipulations...

People often express concern for the welfare of farm animals, but research on this topic has relied upon self-report. Facial expressions provide a quantifiable measure of emotional response that may be less susceptible to social...

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...

Yangtze finless porpoises use high-frequency clicks to navigate, forage, and communicate. The way in which click production may vary depending on social or environmental context has never been investigated. A group of five captive Yangtze...

In dairy industry, quality of produced milk must be more important than quantity without a high somatic cells count (SCC) or pathogens causing mastitis of dairy cows and consumer diseases. Preserving the good health of...

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...

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...

The origins of floor-laying in ducks could be low motivation for a nest, or stress related to difficulties with accessing a nest (e.g. competition). Using a behavioural demand test, we investigated if increasing the work...

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...

To date, Qualitative Behavior Assessment (QBA) has not been used to measure the welfare of pre-partum Zebu heifers treated with practices of positive handling. The study objective was to investigate the effect of brushing as...

Infra-red thermography (IRT) is increasingly being used to estimate physiological stress responses in animals via changes in eye surface temperature. The aim of this study was to determine whether eye temperature of harbour seals (Phoca...

Virtual fencing involving the application of audio cues and electrical stimuli is being commercially developed for cattle. Virtual fencing has the potential to improve productivity through optimized pasture management and utilization by grazing animals. The...

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...

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...

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...

Background: The efficacy of procaine as anaesthetic for disbudding of calves is largely unknown. Likewise, information about effect of interval from local anaesthesia to disbudding and the size of the hot iron used is missing...

Breathing patterns can be considered a vital sign providing health information. Infrared thermography is used to evaluate breathing patterns because it is non-invasive. Our study used not only sequence temperature data but also RGB images...

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 intensity and the magnitude of saliva cortisol responses were investigated during the first 48 h following birth in newborn dairy calves which underwent normal (eutocic, EUT, n = 88) and difficult (dystocic, DYS, n = 70) calvings. The...

Cattle are susceptible to heat stress, especially those kept on high levels of nutrition for the purpose of maximising growth rates, which leads to a significant heat increment in their bodies. Consequences include compromised health...

Environmental enrichment (EE) can increase the environmental complexity of feedlots by providing mental and physical stimulation. The objectives of the study were to 1) identify hourly patterns of feedlot steer behaviour and 2) evaluate the...

Confinement and restriction of movement are a reality for most dairy cows. Providing outdoor access is one method to increase movement opportunities. However, leading cows to an outdoor exercise area increases their exposure to manipulations...

Allowing dairy cattle to access pasture can promote natural behaviour and improve their health. However, the psychological benefits are poorly understood. We compared a cognitive indicator of emotion in cattle either with or without pasture...

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...

Positive stockperson attitudes to his or her animals is associated with a positive behavioural response in the animals and in other indicators assumed to reflect a high level of welfare as well as increased productivity...

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