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. 
Prompt pain management is crucial in horses; however, tools to assess pain are limited. This study aimed to develop and pilot a composite scale for pain estimation in foals. The “Foal Composite Pain Scale” (FCPS)...
With age, primates’ activity levels and ease of movement may decline and changes in locomotory behaviour may reflect changes in health. Thus, developing quick and reliable measures of movement has important applications for measuring recovery...
It is widely acknowledged that environmental enrichment can improve animals’ welfare and emotional state. This study used cognitive bias and response to a novel object to assess the effect of enriched housing on emotional state...
Efficient and sensitive animal pain detection approaches are increasingly studied with the goal of improving animal welfare and monitoring the efficacy of treatment and rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to determine the potential...
Assessing the animal welfare state is a challenge given the subjective individual cognitive and emotional processing involved. Electroencephalography (EEG) spectrum analysis has proved an ecologically valid recording situation to assess the link between brain processes...
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...
Horses’ behavior can provide valuable insight into their subjective state and is thus a good indicator of welfare. However, its complexity requires objective, quantifiable, and unambiguous evidence-based assessment criteria. As healthy, stress-free horses exhibit a...
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...
Castration has been demonstrated to cause pain in sheep. However, it is routinely performed for management purposes. Electroencephalography (EEG) has been used successfully to measure pain in lambs in response to castration and other husbandry...
The objective assessment of chronic pain is of utmost importance for improving welfare and quality of life in horses. Freedom from disease and pain is one of the ‘five freedoms’ that are necessary for animal...
Automated recognition of human facial expressions of pain and emotions is to a certain degree a solved problem, using approaches based on computer vision and machine learning. However, the application of such methods to horses...
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...
Horses undergoing veterinary care may perceive the experience to be stressful and their behavioural responses can result in injuries to people involved in their care. Being able to accurately measure the stress response in horses...
Identifying and validating behavioral indicators of mood are important for the assessment of animal welfare. Here, we investigated whether horses' eye wrinkle expression in a presumably neutral situation is a measure of mood as assessed...
Regardless of the microbiological status of an animal facility, research animals may experience health problems, leading to pain, suffering and distress. Simple and efficient tools are needed to collect data systematically, allowing researchers to react...
Background: Pain in horses is an emergent welfare concern, and its assessment represents a challenge for equine clinicians. This study aimed at improving pain assessment in horses through a convergent validation of existing tools: we...
Behavioural diversity may serve as a positive indicator of animal welfare that can be applied in long-term monitoring schemes in managed settings (eg zoos, laboratories, farms). Behavioural diversity is often higher when animals live in...
Horses were domesticated for more than 5000 years and have been one of the most emblematic species living alongside humans. This long-shared history would suggest that horses are well known and well understood, but scientific...
Whether animals have emotions was historically a long-lasting question but, today, nobody disputes that they do. However, how to assess them and how to guarantee animals their welfare have become important research topics in the...
This review aims to characterize promising novel markers of ovine mastitis. Mastitis is considered as one of the primary factors for premature culling in dairy sheep and has noticeable financial, productional, and animal welfare-related implications...
The value society assigns to animal welfare in agricultural productions is increasing, resulting in ever-enhancing methods to assess the well-being of farm animals. The aim of this study was to review the scientific literature to...
In order to promote the welfare of farm animals, there is a need to be able to recognize, register and monitor their affective states. Numerous studies show that just like humans, non-human animals are able...
The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a machine vision algorithm to assess the pain level in horses, using an automatic computational classifier based on the Horse Grimace Scale (HGS) and trained...

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