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. 

Efficient and sensitive animal pain detection approaches are increasingly studied with the goal of improving animal welfare and monitoring the efficacy of treatment and rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to determine the potential...

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...

Horse practitioners have difficulties with undesirable behaviors exhibited by their horses (Equus caballus), such as cribbing, weaving, or head shaking. It has been suggested that most of behavioral disorders originate from the animals’ attempt to...

The lack of standardization of sedation scales in horses limits the reproducibility between different studies. This prospective, randomized, blinded, horizontal and controlled trial aimed to validate a scale for sedation in horses (EquiSed). Seven horses...

Assessing the animal welfare state is a challenge given the subjective individual cognitive and emotional processing involved. Electroencephalography (EEG) spectrum analysis has proved an ecologically valid recording situation to assess the link between brain processes...

This article describes the steps for making a DIY guinea pig or rabbit cardboard foraging ball. Pictures are provided for each step as well as the completed ball. These cardboard foraging balls can be made...

Several previous studies have shown that working conditions (including riding) can induce stress in horses. Riders’ actions and postures, when inappropriate, induce stress and conflict behaviours during riding and welfare impairment and negative emotional states...

Examining the literature suggests equine personality is of interest to behavior and welfare scientists and those involved in the equine industry. Study and assessment of personality is critical because of the profound implications certain traits...

Emotional recognition has been demonstrated to occur between members of different species. However, the majority of studies on interspecific communication of emotions so far focused on the senses of vision and hearing while the contribution...

In semi-natural mixed-sex groups, rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) organize their social life by forming a hierarchy, which is characterized by linearity and stability. Compared to the natural environment, many factors are different in contemporary breeding systems...

Domesticated horses mainly live in individual boxes, a housing system reported as compromising animal welfare. A common practice in riding schools involves offering a temporary period on pasture with conspecifics to alleviate the impact of...

A human–animal relationship can be developed through subsequent interactions, affected by the positive or negative emotional valence of the proceeding one. Horses implement a process of categorization to classify humans with whom they interact as...

The aim of the study was to assess the effect of two different stunning methods on the level of blood stress indicators (cortisol, insulin, glucose) and rabbit meat quality. The experiment was conducted on crossbreds...

Animal welfare is defined as a chronic state reflecting an individual’s subjective perception of its situation. Because it is possible to be in a good welfare state and nevertheless experience acute fear or pain, and...

One of the goals of environmental enrichment is to encourage species-typical behaviors, while discouraging abnormal behaviors or stereotypies. Assessing the effectiveness of various enrichment modalities can be challenging, particularly for prey species such as rabbits...

This work provides an overview of the role of chemical communication in horse behavior and addresses the potential usefulness of this knowledge for management practices and animal welfare. First, we present an outline of the...

Ensuring that laboratory rodent pain is well managed underpins the ethical acceptability of working with these animals in research. Appropriate treatment of pain in laboratory rodents requires accurate assessments of the presence or absence of...

Plasma lipid and glucose levels are important parameters for evaluating the onset and development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. In clinical and experimental studies of humans or mice, fasting is often required before testing plasma...

Exposure to environmental factors such as high temperatures and solar radiation levels present a welfare concern for many domestic equids. Understanding how these factors influence the shelter use of healthy equids can inform welfare guidelines...

Measuring animal stress is fundamentally important for assessing animal emotional state and welfare. Conventional methods of quantifying stress (cortisol levels, heart rate/heart rate variability) require specialist equipment and are not instantly available. Spontaneous blink rate...

Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) have been used in research since the 19th century to collect data due to their physiological similarities to humans. Today, animals perform a vital role in experiments and concerns for laboratory...

The Becton Dickinson (BD) Research Animal Care Program has developed an acclimation and enrichment program that has enhanced animal welfare for studies requiring single housing, contributed to a culture of care, increased transparency, and improved...

Horses kept for meat production are reared in intensive breeding farms. We employed a checklist adapted from the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) assessment protocol. Our evaluation aims to assess whether welfare indicators are influenced by...

Domestic animals often seek and enjoy interacting with humans. Positive human–animal relationships can elicit positive emotions and other positive welfare outcomes. Nevertheless, our understanding of the underlying processes that govern the positive perception of humans...

Horses have evolved to show little indication of discomfort or disability when in the presence of potential predators, including humans. This natural characteristic complicates the recognition of pain in equine patients. It has been our...

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