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. 

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...

Infra-red thermography (IRT) is a non-invasive tool for measuring eye temperature as an indicator of stress and welfare in animals. Previous studies state that images are taken from 90° but do not specify a reference...

The regulations for minimal space and direction of travel for land transport in horses vary worldwide and there is currently no definitive guidance to promote equine health and welfare. This study evaluated the effects of...

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...

Objective pain assessment in donkeys is of vital importance for improving welfare in a species that is considered stoic. This study presents the construction and testing of two pain scales, the Equine Utrecht University Scale...

Dental disorders can cause discomfort and chronic pain, affecting the athletic performance and welfare of the horses. However, dental disorders may not be manifested with recognizable clinical signs and may, therefore, lead to late diagnosis...

The assessment of animal welfare poses numerous challenges, yet an emerging approach is the consolidation of existing knowledge into new frameworks which can offer standardised approaches to welfare assessment across a variety of contexts. Multiple...

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...

Knowledge of the welfare status of wild animals is vital for informing debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. Currently, there is no published information about how to...

Animal welfare assessment has traditionally relied on measures of physical health and changes in behavior and physiology related to negative emotional states such as pain and stress. However, it is now widely accepted that good...

Acute stress induces an array of behavioural reactions in horses that vary between individuals. Attempts to relate behavioural patterns and physiological responses have not always given clear-cut results. Here, we measured the changes in a...

A key welfare problem for horses is that people commonly fail to recognise, and consequently neglect to resolve, equine behavioural signs of distress, worsening the welfare of the horse and potentially putting the safety of...

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...

Physiological changes provide indices of stress responses, however, behavioural measures may be easier to determine. Spontaneous eye blink rate has potential as a non-invasive indicator of stress. Eyelid movements, along with heart rate (HR) and...

Data are available in the scientific literature concerning the quality and usefulness of donkey milk for human consumption. However, there is a lack of studies related to the understanding of the welfare of dairy donkeys...

Despite the fact that animal posture is known to reflect emotional state, the presence of chronic postures associated with poor welfare has not been investigated with an objective tool for measuring, quantifying and comparing postures...

Correct assessment of stress in horses is important for both horse welfare and handler safety during necessary aversive procedures. Handlers depend on behaviour when judging how well an individual is tolerating stressful procedures such as...

Mounted police horses and riders are repeatedly subjected to demanding and stressful situations. Intensive selection and training of police horses is required to ensure performance, safety and welfare of the horses and their riders. At...

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 majority of horses, donkeys and mules (equids) are in low- and middle-income countries, where they remain a key source of labour in the construction, agriculture and tourism industries, as well as supporting households daily...

The scientific study of animal emotion has recently become an important focus for animal behaviour and welfare researchers. For horses used by humans for work, recreation or sport, the question of the significance of their...

The scientific study of animal emotion has recently become an important focus for animal behaviour and welfare researchers. For horses used by humans for work, recreation or sport, the question of the significance of their...

Indicators of positive emotions are still scarce and many proposed behavioural markers have proven ambiguous. Studies established a link between acoustic signals and emitter’s internal state, but few related to positive emotions and still fewer...

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...

Assessing emotion in animals is fundamental to the study of animal welfare with methodologies for reliable and valid assessments being highly desirable. Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) is based on the assumption that human observers are...

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