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. 

Animal welfare is one of the most challenging issues in modern farm animal husbandry. Animal welfare indicators can be used to monitor welfare on farms or at slaughterhouses, with footpad dermatitis (FPD) being one of...

Group level measures of welfare flocks have been criticized on the grounds that they give only average measures and overlook the welfare of individual animals. However, we here show that the group-level optical flow patterns...

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...

Animal welfare is one of the most challenging issues in modern farm animal husbandry. Animal welfare indicators can be used to monitor welfare on farms or at slaughterhouses, with footpad dermatitis (FPD) being one of...

Gait defects, assessed as gait score (GS), is a common welfare problem in broiler chicken production. The aim of this study was to examine whether birds with GS2 experience pain and poor locomotor ability compared...

In this study, an appropriate visual scoring system for foot-pad dermatitis was validated, considering the histologically measured depth of the inflammation zone and the histopathological grade (no lesion, mild lesion, ulcer). The aim being to...

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...

Foot-pad dermatitis (FPD) is an important indicator of animal welfare in turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). The present study aimed to evaluate the reliability and validity of a commonly used five-point visual score (VC), assessing FPD based...

Capybaras, also known as “water pigs,” are the world’s largest rodent. Although these animals are closely related to guinea pigs, with a shoulder height of approximately 2 ft, coarse brown fur, and partially webbed feet...

Required auditing of on-farm broiler welfare in the United States has increased; however, a lack of validated tools exists for assessment of enrichment. National Chicken Council (NCC) guidelines were used on a subset of 300...

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...

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...

Leg problems are highly prevalent in modern broiler production and provision of environmental enrichment could be a strategy to improve leg health. Different types of environmental enrichment have undergone evaluation. Our objective was to conduct...

Qualitative behavioural assessments (QBA) is an animal-based welfare measure that has been included in several on-farm welfare assessment protocols, including the Welfare Quality® (WQ) protocol for poultry. However, there is a scarcity of information about...

Negative experiences during feather growth can result in fault bar formation. Fault bars are malformations perpendicular to the rachis of the feather caused by stressful experiences during feather growth. However, there are little data on...

Feather damage (FD) due to feather pecking behavior is an ongoing welfare concern among commercial egg-laying hens. Canada's current transition from conventional cage housing to alternative housing systems, where FD can spread easily within large...

Palpation is the most popular method of measuring keel bone damage on live birds, although it has been criticized for being subjective and inaccurate. The goals of this study were to examine intra- and inter-rater...

In order to support decision making on how to most effectively improve broiler welfare an innovative expert survey was conducted based on principles derived from semantic modelling. Twenty-seven experts, mainly broiler welfare scientists (n =...

This experiment was carried out aiming to assess walking manner and speed of broiler chickens with different gait scores (GS), with or without sound stimulus, and with or without administration of analgesic. To that end...

Feather pecking (FP) is a multifactorial problem in all housing systems. Using a case-control design we wanted to determine a set of variables which may be decisive for a flock to become case or control...

Studies investigating the welfare of commercial-line broiler chickens raised in houses with outdoor access in the tropics are scarce, and none have investigated whether responses vary according to indoor conditions. Hence, we assessed the effects...

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...

The reliable assessment and management of avian pain is important in the context of animal welfare. Overtly expressed signs of pain vary substantially between and within species, strains and individuals, limiting the use of behaviour...

The laying hen industry is implementing aviary systems intended to improve welfare by providing hens with more space and resources to perform species-specific behaviors. To date, limited research has examined spatial requirements of various strains...

This study aimed to refine bird-soiling as a broiler chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) welfare indicator, and to develop and test two additional indicators, namely contact dermatitis on the breast and abdominal areas and carcase scratches...

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