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...
South Africa has many fenced reserves harbouring small to medium sized populations of African elephant (Loxodonta africana), most of which have been translocated. Elephants on fenced reserves may be exposed to various management interventions and...
In a recent experiment, we showed that horses are sensitive to pet-directed speech (PDS), a kind of speech used to talk to companion animals that is characterized by high pitch and wide pitch variations. When...
In a captive environment, it is challenging to ensure the highest level of social and psychological well-being for species with naturally complex social organizations and structures. There is a growing need to meet the social...
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...
Horses (Equus caballus) have been domesticated for millennia and are regularly utilized for work, sport, and companionship. Enhanced understanding of human–horse interactions can create avenues to optimize their welfare. This review explores the current research...
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...
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...
I review studies that examined the possibility of pain experience in fish and note how they provided guidance on general methods that could be applied to other animals such as decapod crustaceans. The fish studies...
Cephalopods are increasingly viewed as sentient animals that require the same welfare consideration as their vertebrate counterparts. In this study, an observational welfare assessment tool developed by the EU Directive was revised to be species-specific...
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...
Human–horse interactions (HHIs) are diverse and prominent in the equine industry. Stakeholders have an invested interest in making sure that HHIs are humane. Assessment of equine welfare goes beyond physical health and includes assessment of...
A top priority of modern zoos is to ensure good animal welfare (AW), thus, efforts towards improving AW monitoring are increasing. Welfare assessments are performed through more traditional approaches by employing direct observations and time-consuming...
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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