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. 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Humans interact with fishes in many contexts including aquaculture, scientific study and companion animals. In all of these contexts, fish welfare can be compromised through anthropogenic means. Concern for fish welfare has grown considerably in...

Group level measures of welfare flocks have been criticized on the grounds that they give only average measures and overlook the welfare of individual animals. However, we here show that the group-level optical flow patterns...

Gait defects, assessed as gait score (GS), is a common welfare problem in broiler chicken production. The aim of this study was to examine whether birds with GS2 experience pain and poor locomotor ability compared...

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...

Electrical stunning is likely to remain an important stunning method for turkeys at slaughter. The purpose of this study is to understand the application of various waveforms of alternating current (AC) and pulsed direct currents...

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...

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of pair versus individual housing on performance, health, and behavior of dairy calves. Thirty female Holstein dairy calves were assigned to individual (n = 10)...

The quality of the social environment should be studied as one of the welfare components of dairy herds. Licking and preference between cows are important socio-positive experiences in this context.The aims of this study were...

According to international housing recommendations, fattening bulls should not be housed in groups of more than 12–20 animals. However, there are no scientific studies supporting these recommendations as most studies on fattening cattle refer to...

Mastitis in dairy cattle is extremely costly both in economic and welfare terms and is one of the most significant drivers of antimicrobial usage in dairy cattle. A critical step in the prevention of mastitis...

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...

Animal welfare for sheep in extensive rural farms is difficult to quantify among rural farmers due to several factors, including the lack of technology and the low level of interaction they have with the animals...

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...

Low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) has been suggested for use in poultry under 4 kg in the abattoir as a more humane alternative to carbon dioxide (CO2). However, there are currently no studies offering a...

Calves reared on pasture learn to graze from their dam and conspecifics during weaning. Social learning can be beneficial for calf performance and welfare, and pair-housing and companionship on pasture have been proposed as management...

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...

As the reliance upon automated systems in the livestock industry increases, technologies need to be developed which can be incorporated into these systems to monitor animal health and welfare. Infrared thermography (IRT) is one such...

The welfare of juvenile Finnraccoons (Nyctereutes procyonoides ussuriensis) was compared between various housing conditions through the measurement of day-time behaviour and physiological variables. For the small control treatment (SC), Finnraccoons were raised in pairs in...

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