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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Cage housing of growing rabbits is associated with welfare concerns. An alternative system that has already been introduced involves pens with non-wire floors. An important aspect of group pens, for which the best solution has...

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...

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...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...

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...

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...

The aim of the present study was to develop and evaluate a new housing system for fattening rabbits. Data were collected on a farm with rabbits housed either under new conditions (NC) or established (conventional)...

Softer surfaces can alleviate pressure on the claw during claw–surface contact, which is especially important for cows with painful claws. The benefits of softer barn floors are well known, but as cows often walk long...

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}]...

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...

This study tested the effect of neck rails equipped with and without foam on stall usage and preference by dairy cows. The hypothesis of the experiment, that cows prefer lying stalls with foam in comparison...

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...

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...

The objective of the present study was to compare the synchronisation of the lying, feeding and standing behaviour of bulls housed in an uninsulated barn and in a pasture. Dairy (Ayrshire and Holstein-Friesian) and beef...

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...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...

The present observational study assessed the effect of deep straw bedding compared to cubicles during the dry period on lying-, feeding- and agonistic behaviour in Holstein cows. A total of 74 primi- (heifers) and multiparous...

Hock lesions (HL) in dairy cows are a common animal welfare problem in modern dairy production with freestall housing systems, but there are no large-scale studies addressing its epidemiology in Sweden. The aims of this...

The use of agricultural animals in biomedical research is increasing. Their overall size and metabolic rate, organ size, longer gestation period, and other physiological similarities make them good candidates for animal models of human disease...

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