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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

This article describes the rehoming of 10 laboratory female rabbits now living as a group in a private shelter.

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 =...

Accelerometers are used to remotely monitor activity in various species in studies that quantify pain, document behavioural patterns, and measure individual activity differences. Studies validating accelerometers typically quantify various active states; however, targeting states specific...

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...

Completely updated and revised, and with a new author team, this second edition of Farm Animal Behaviour continues to provide essential information on normal and stereotypic behaviors in a wide variety of farm animals to...

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 aim of this study was to assess hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that were subjected to relocation and surgery to evaluate HPA-axis activity; in addition, we used this marker...

The vocalizations of nonhuman animals are considered potential indicators of motivational or internal state. In many species, different call types, and structural variation within call types, encode information about physical characteristics such as age or...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 1 November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh and was attended by 70 delegates. Presentation topics included refinements in blood sampling rodents...

To investigate how long relocation modified hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits, 19 rabbits were subjected to a change in their breeding facility at the beginning of the trial and then were kept...

The assessment of plumage and integument condition in laying hens provides useful information about the occurrence of feather pecking and cannibalism. Although feather loss and skin injuries can result from mechanical abrasion or clinical diseases...

Although the recognition of pain, distress and discomfort has already been described in 1985 by Morton and Griffiths there is still very little known about the establishment of score sheets especially, regarding postsurgical pain and...

Affect-induced cognitive judgement biases occur in both humans and animals. Animals in a more negative affective state tend to interpret ambiguous cues more negatively than animals in a more positive state and vice versa. Investigating...

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