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. 

This study investigates for the first time the application of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) to the analysis of acute pain expression in castrated lambs. Eighty 2-day-old male lambs were allocated to one of 4 groups...

Although group housing of naturally social animals like rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is desirable for ethical reasons, social conflicts can significantly increase the risk for injuries as well as stress incidences and negatively affect their welfare...

Eye temperature measured using infrared thermography (IRT) can be used as a non-invasive measure of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in cattle. The objective of this study was to evaluate if changes in eye temperature...

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...

The study aimed at evaluating different management protocols of grouping does in regard to aggressive interactions and the establishment of a hierarchy under commercial conditions. Fifty-seven multiparous rabbit does of the Hycole hybrid maternal line...

In order to assess the level of sheep welfare in small traditional farms as compared with farms of increased size we evaluated several animal-based parameters and applied a modified Animal Needs Index (ANI) protocol in...

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...

Nociceptive threshold (NT) testing is widely used for the study of pain and its alleviation. The end point is a normal behavioural response, which may be affected by restraint or unfamiliar surroundings, leading to erroneous...

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...

The aim of this study was to verify the motivation of rabbit does to social contact or seclusion. The results of two different research activities assessed in Italy (experiment 1) and Germany (experiment 2) through...

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...

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...

An attention bias test has been developed as a measure of negative affective states in sheep. The test measures an individual’s allocation of attention between a threatening (previous location of a dog) and positive (conspecific...

Group-living animals vary in social behavior across multiple dimensions, including in the selectivity of social interactions with familiar versus unfamiliar peers. Standardized behavioral tests can be used to tease apart different dimensions of behavior. These...

In the wild, rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are social but territorial. Recent surveys suggest that over half of pet rabbits are housed singly. We aimed to compare welfare in single versus paired rabbits. We predicted singletons...

Sheep lameness is a major concern among farmers and policymakers with significant impacts on animal welfare standards as well as financial and production performance. The present study attempts to identify the relative importance of environmental...

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...

The identification and assessment of pain in sheep under field conditions are important, but, due to their stoic nature, are fraught with many challenges. In Australia, various husbandry procedures that are documented to cause pain...

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...

This study assessed the effects of an elevated plastic-slatted platform and/or a plastic hiding tube in collective pens with large group sizes (27 or 36 rabbits/pen; 16 rabbits/m2) on the performance and welfare of rabbits...

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...

The use of technology to optimize the production and management of each individual animal is becoming key to good farming. There is a need for the real-time systematic detection and control of disease in animals...

The use of technology to optimize the production and management of each individual animal is becoming key to good farming. There is a need for the real-time systematic detection and control of disease in animals...

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

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...

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