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. 

Captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are well-documented as being prone to behavioural disorders and, as a result, their welfare is the cause of increasing concern. There is therefore a need for an evidence-based approach to...

This study aimed to apply a protocol for assessing camel welfare, to develop a scoring system for the welfare measures, to produce overall assessment indices, and to classify the animal units (i.e., pens) according to...

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...

Despite the use of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) in research, little is known about the evaluation of pain in this species. This study investigated whether the frequency of certain behaviors, a grimace scale, the treat-take-test...

The aim of this study was to develop and describe a protocol for assessing welfare in camels reared in intensive or semi-intensive systems. A literature review was conducted searching for scientific papers on assessment 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...

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...

A common goal of captive animal institutions is to create environments that allow for the most naturalistic behavior from their animals. Behavioral data is often used as a measure of how an animal is thriving...

In this study, an appropriate visual scoring system for foot-pad dermatitis was validated, considering the histologically measured depth of the inflammation zone and the histopathological grade (no lesion, mild lesion, ulcer). The aim being to...

Knowledge of the welfare status of wild animals is vital for informing debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. Currently, there is no published information about how to...

Ensuring that laboratory rodent pain is well managed underpins the ethical acceptability of working with these animals in research. Appropriate treatment of pain in laboratory rodents requires accurate assessments of the presence or absence of...

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...

Required auditing of on-farm broiler welfare in the United States has increased; however, a lack of validated tools exists for assessment of enrichment. National Chicken Council (NCC) guidelines were used on a subset of 300...

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small and highly conserved non-coding RNA molecules that orchestrate a wide range of biological processes through the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. An intriguing aspect in identifying these molecules as biomarkers is...

Qualitative behavioural assessments (QBA) is an animal-based welfare measure that has been included in several on-farm welfare assessment protocols, including the Welfare Quality® (WQ) protocol for poultry. However, there is a scarcity of information about...

Negative experiences during feather growth can result in fault bar formation. Fault bars are malformations perpendicular to the rachis of the feather caused by stressful experiences during feather growth. However, there are little data on...

Feather damage (FD) due to feather pecking behavior is an ongoing welfare concern among commercial egg-laying hens. Canada's current transition from conventional cage housing to alternative housing systems, where FD can spread easily within large...

Palpation is the most popular method of measuring keel bone damage on live birds, although it has been criticized for being subjective and inaccurate. The goals of this study were to examine intra- and inter-rater...

In order to support decision making on how to most effectively improve broiler welfare an innovative expert survey was conducted based on principles derived from semantic modelling. Twenty-seven experts, mainly broiler welfare scientists (n =...

This experiment was carried out aiming to assess walking manner and speed of broiler chickens with different gait scores (GS), with or without sound stimulus, and with or without administration of analgesic. To that end...

To ensure that captive breeding and other associated programs are more robust and sustainable, it is of utmost importance to ensure optimum welfare. Although it is well known that standard welfare is crucial for successful...

The reliable assessment and management of avian pain is important in the context of animal welfare. Overtly expressed signs of pain vary substantially between and within species, strains and individuals, limiting the use of behaviour...

This study aimed to refine bird-soiling as a broiler chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) welfare indicator, and to develop and test two additional indicators, namely contact dermatitis on the breast and abdominal areas and carcase scratches...

Accelerometers are used to remotely monitor activity in various species in studies that quantify pain, document behavioural patterns, and measure individual activity differences. Studies validating accelerometers typically quantify various active states; however, targeting states specific...

Cognitive bias testing measures how emotional states can affect cognitive processes, often described using the “glass half-full/half-empty” paradigm. Classical or operant conditioning is used to measure responses to ambiguous cues, and it has been reported...

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