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. 

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...

As the reliance upon automated systems in the livestock industry increases, technologies need to be developed which can be incorporated into these systems to monitor animal health and welfare. Infrared thermography (IRT) is one such...

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...

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...

Dairy cattle are particularly susceptible to metritis, hyperketonemia (HYK), and mastitis in the weeks after calving. These high-prevalence transition diseases adversely affect animal welfare, milk production, and profitability. Our aim was to use prepartum behavior...

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...

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...

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...

Detection of slightly lame cows and non-lame cows with limb pathologies and those with early limb pathologies is most challenging. Therefore, the availability of a sensitive, objective tool to complement the clinical limb examination is...

India, the country with the largest population of dairy cows in the world, has a policy of retiring abandoned and non-lactating cows in shelters, but the level of provision for their welfare in these shelters...

Until now, most research has focused on the development of indicators of negative welfare, and relatively few studies provide information on valid, reliable, and feasible indicators addressing positive aspects of animal welfare. However, a lack...

The aim of this study was to develop a welfare assessment protocol using different indicators, for pre-weaned dairy calves, that is feasible and time efficient. To this end, the protocol had to combine animal-based indicators...

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...

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...

There are various methods to perform castration of cattle, but surgical castration is the most common. Although it is well documented that surgical procedures inflict pain, analgesic use is usually omitted for surgical castration of...

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...

Measurement of friction of cowshed floors to determine slipperiness potential is important for cow comfort. Existing methods require elaborate equipment and procedures. A quick method for assessment of friction characteristics is proposed. Friction was measured...

Precision livestock farming has emerged with the aim of providing detailed information to detect and reduce problems related to animal management. This study aimed to develop and validate computer vision techniques to track required features...

The human–animal relationship is an important welfare parameter in animal welfare assessment in cows, and the avoidance distance of cows to a stranger at the feed bunk is measured to assess this relationship. The assessment...

Although the science of facial expression of pain in humans is advanced, it has not been extensively explored in nonhuman animals. The study of facial expression as an indicator of pain might represent a substantial...

An important factor for animal welfare in cattle farming is the detection of lameness. The presented study is part of a project aiming to develop a system that is capable of an automated diagnosis of...

Background: Lameness is a major health, welfare and production-limiting condition for the livestock industries. The current ‘gold-standard’ method of assessing lameness by visual locomotion scoring is subjective and time consuming, whereas recent technological advancements have...

Body condition scoring (BCS) is the management practice of assessing body reserves of individual animals by visual or tactile estimation of subcutaneous fat and muscle. Both high and low BCS can negatively impact milk production...

The aim of this study was to investigate if visible eye white and eye temperature measurements are feasible non-invasive physiological indicators of acute stress in cows when they are exposed to cattle crush treatment for...

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is often diagnosed in feedlots after observing behavioral changes such as anorexia, with fever confirmatory. However, this method has poor diagnostic accuracy compared to postmortem lung lesions. Little is known about...

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