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. 

In the equestrian world, two different types of management can be distinguished: traditional management and natural boarding. The aim of this research was to compare hormonal, hematological and immunological parameters of 47 horses kept in...

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...

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...

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...

In animal studies on bone healing, the effect of housing space and physical activity are seldom taken into account. Bone formation was evaluated in New Zealand White rabbits (mean ± SEM BW: 3.9 ± 0.11...

We compared welfare measures of horses among Swedish riding schools (RS) during winter where horses were kept either in group housing (n = 8) or in tie-stalls/boxes (n = 8), Health data for six previous...

Cage housing of growing rabbits is associated with welfare concerns. An alternative system that has already been introduced involves pens with non-wire floors. An important aspect of group pens, for which the best solution has...

Domestic donkeys descended from wild asses, adapted to the semi-arid climates of Africa, whereas domestic horses originate from more temperate areas of Eurasia. Despite this difference in evolutionary history, modern domestic equids can be found...

This paper investigates the effect of different housing conditions on the welfare quality of breeding horses. Using a welfare protocol that included health and behavioral parameters, 330 stallions (kept in tie-stall housing) and 365 broodmares...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Working Group has held a one-day meeting every autumn for the last 25 years, so that its members can discuss current welfare research, exchange views on welfare issues and...

The aim of the present study was to develop and evaluate a new housing system for fattening rabbits. Data were collected on a farm with rabbits housed either under new conditions (NC) or established (conventional)...

Despite the spatial and social restrictions it causes, single stall housing still prevails in sport and riding school horses, leading to the emergence of abnormal behaviours such as stereotypic or abnormal repetitive behaviours (SB/ARB). In...

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...

Icelandic horses are often stabled in loose-housing systems, and to date this type of stabling has not been evaluated with regard to its potential impact on respiratory health. The objective was to assess if differences...

Horses use human-made shelters actively during inclement weather, but the costs of building shelters may be high and owners use blankets or rugs on horses instead. The aim of the study was to investigate how...

In Germany, an animal welfare ordinance for the housing of rabbits was issued which did not take into account the current investigations on floor design. The aim of the investigations was to study the effects...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 14 November 2017 in Weybridge, UK. The first session addressed meeting animals' needs and aiming for a 'good life', with the needs...

A three-week enrichment preference study trialling different substrates, food and pen structures was carried out in three, group-housed female New Zealand White Rabbits (NZW). Preference results: structural - rabbits spent the most time with a...

Little is known about the effect of shelter design on sheltering behavior in horses. This study investigates shelter use by Icelandic horses kept outdoors 24 hours a day during the winter in Denmark and whether...

The aim of this work was to study how the group size and the number of doorways in a pen may influence the aggressive interactions throughout the reproductive cycle among does kept in a part-time...

Although the number of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) produced in Europe is important, they are under-represented in welfare research. Studies on the effects of housing conditions have focused on performance and mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis...

Newly weaned horses in Finland are often moved to unheated loose housing systems in which the weanlings have free access to a paddock and a shelter. This practice is considered to be good for the...

Rabbits are gregarious animals that live in social groups in the wild so individually housing our animals, while meeting the present scientific objectives, restricts their natural social behaviour. How to meet the social needs of...

Fecal corticosterone concentration (FCC) was measured in 14 buck rabbits individually housed in standard-dimension cages (SC) or in bigger cages (BC; with a volume more than double that of SC and equipped with a plastic...

In order to give individually housed stallions the opportunity to have more social interactions, the Swiss national stud farm investigated a separation wall called ‘social box’. Sixteen adult Franches-Montagnes breeding stallions were housed for 3...

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