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. 

On farms, the currently approved and most widely practised method of euthanising non-viable piglets is blunt force trauma to the head followed by exsanguination. However, the use of this method is criticised due to public...

Confinement to farrowing crates is known to prevent sows from performing natural behavior, impairing animal welfare and possibly causing chronic stress. Hair cortisol analyses are increasingly used to detect chronic stress in animals. In the...

In order to base welfare assessment of dairy cattle on real-time measurement, integration of valid and reliable precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies is needed. The aim of this study was to provide a systematic overview...

Anticipatory behaviour occurs in the period before a reward or other positive event is presented and has been interpreted as an indicator of the welfare and emotional state of animals. The use of this indicator...

This study aimed to evaluate the agreement and reliability of the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS) among cat owners, veterinarians, veterinary students and nurses/technicians. Raters (n = 5/group) scored 100 images using the FGS (ear position, orbital tightening...

Dogs and cats have been extensively studied of late in relation to their paw preferences, with both species showing preferential motor bias at the level of the individual. Over the years, a wide range of...

This study investigated the effect of milk allowance on the suitability of behavioural and physiological responses, individually and in combination, as early disease indicators. A total of 120 heifer calves were assigned into a 5...

Monitoring the vocalizations produced by livestock in commercial facilities can be used to remotely assess the arousal, and perhaps welfare, of the animals. Domestic swine is an ideal candidate for this type of assessment as...

Assessing how cats cope with the housing and husbandry at shelters is an important part of maintaining good animal welfare. There are non-invasive methods to assess how cats cope with their environment. The aim of...

Evaluation of animal behavior provides information on health and well-being in animals. In this preliminary study, we investigated the effectiveness of an accelerometry approach to evaluate changes in health status of cattle by combining physical...

Bovine castration can be performed surgically, chemically, or immunologically and the method used can influence animal welfare. The use of facial expressions is an efficient tool to quantify pain, but there has been limited study...

Successful detection of pain in cows could circumscribe the therapeutic window for treatment before the cow's condition deteriorates further. While severe clinical cases that are characterized as painful have clear behavioral and physiological manifestations, mild...

Public concern for farm animal welfare is increasing. Animal welfare is defined as the balance of positive and negative emotions, where positive emotions are key to a good animal life. Emotion is defined as an...

This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...

The Welfare Quality® assessment protocol (WQ) is the most extensive way to measure animal welfare. This study was set up to determine if resource-based welfare indicators, that are easier and faster to measure, could replace...

The opportunities for natural animal behaviours in pastures imply animal welfare benefits. Nevertheless, monitoring the animals can be challenging. The use of sensors, cameras, positioning equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles in large pastures has the...

Many protocols have been developed to assess farm animal welfare. However, the validity of these protocols is still subject to debate. The present study aimed to compare nine welfare assessment protocols, namely: (1) Welfare Quality©...

The Animal Welfare Assessment Grid (AWAG) is a method for assessing quality of life, originally designed for experimental primates. This study adapts the AWAG for use in cattle and pigs, by adapting the factors included...

Posture changes in pigs during growth are often precursors of disease. Monitoring pigs’ behavioral activities can allow us to detect pathological changes in pigs earlier and identify the factors threatening the health of pigs in...

The evaluation and assessment of the level of pain calves are experiencing is important, as the experience of pain (e.g., due to routine husbandry procedures) severely affects the welfare of calves. Studies about the recognition...

Measuring animal activity is useful for monitoring animal welfare in real time. In this regard, passive infrared detectors have been used in recent years to quantify piglet activity because of their robustness and ease of...

Pain causes behavioral, autonomic, and neuroendocrine changes and is a common cause of animal welfare compromise in farm animals. Current societal and ethical concerns demand better agricultural practices and improved welfare for food animals. These...

In order to assess the extent to which the legally prescribed training for the acquisition of animal experimentation expertise provides scientific personnel with the necessary competence and expertise to carry out a correct harm-benefit analysis...

Sea stars in research are often lethally sampled without available methodology to render them insensible prior to sampling due to concerns over sufficient sample quality for applied molecular techniques. The objectives of this study were...

Research to assess the relationship between cats and humans is in a nascent stage. Some studies have assessed the stress status in cats using physiological indicators, such as the cortisol hormone, but have not focused...

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