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. 

We examined the influence of cage enrichment and different types of short-term experiences on the temperament of farmed mink. We used juvenile Palomino mink (n = 600, housed in pairs of one male and one female) in...

Positive stockperson attitudes to his or her animals is associated with a positive behavioural response in the animals and in other indicators assumed to reflect a high level of welfare as well as increased productivity...

On farms, female mink are exposed to acute stressors multiple times due to handling, capturing and transport with restricted movement being a typical part of the mating procedure. We hypothesised that no relocation (group NON...

In fiscal year 2016, agricultural animals such as swine, sheep, goats, and cattle represented 10% of the 820 812 animals used in USDA-regulated research. In addition to traditional agricultural animals, research studies using captive wildlife...

The use of agricultural animals in biomedical research is increasing. Their overall size and metabolic rate, organ size, longer gestation period, and other physiological similarities make them good candidates for animal models of human disease...

Stereotypic behaviours (SBs) are common in confined animals including captive Carnivora, which display diverse forms of SB: often whole-body movements (e.g. pacing), but also head-only movements (e.g. head twirling) and ‘scrabbling’ (scratching at enclosure boundaries)...

We investigated whether nest building and nest site preference are temperature dependent in female mink. We designed two experiments: in Experiment 1, female mink had access to unheated (7 °C, Room7C group) or heated (25...

The timing of the onset of maternal-related nest building in American mink is unknown, and it is expected that farmed mink are highly motivated to perform nest building during times with restricted access to nesting...

The occurrence of wounds in different anatomical regions, such as tail tip lesions, is an important welfare concern in farmed mink. This study investigated whether mechanical factors attributed to cage design in multilevel cages may...

A number of mutilating procedures, such as dehorning in cattle and goats and beak trimming in laying hens, are common in farm animal husbandry systems in an attempt to prevent or solve problems, such as...

Regulations and guidelines assume that taller cages are better for mink, because they permit more diverse postures (e.g. standing upright) and freedom to move. New Canadian Codes of Practice therefore stipulate cage ceiling heights of...

The aims of this study were to investigate the occurrence of stereotypic behaviours and the activity level in farmed mink when group housed in climbing cages and if group housing increase aggression by assessing the...

This paper discusses the ethical implications of applying the concept of behavioural needs to captive animals. This is done on the basis of analysing the scientific literature on farmed mink and their possible need for...

Stereotypic behaviours (SBs) are sometimes assumed homogeneous, despite their diverse morphologies, as if sharing a common aetiology. However, if different SB forms are instead heterogeneous, they may have different causes, potentially impacting how best to...

The aim of this study was to investigate the activity patterns of American mink (Neovison vison). Twenty mink from a commercial mink farm were housed in a free-range enclosure (290 m2) at the age of...

Scientists and laypeople have long expressed concern that animals in non-enriched, unchanging environments might experience boredom. However, this had attracted little empirical study: the state is difficult to assess without verbal self-reports, and spontaneous behavioural...

Pre-weaning diarrhea in mink, also known as “sticky kits”, is a syndrome and outbreaks occur every year on commercial mink farms in all mink producing countries. Morbidity and mortality can be considerable on a farm...

The aims of this study were to investigate whether farmed mink use swimming basins as an environmental enrichment factor and to identify layouts suitable to allow mink to perform their characteristic behavior to a large...

Wood shavings or chopped straw in American mink dams’ nests did not affect kit survivability (P ≥ 0.51). Straw-housed male kits were lighter at 6 wk (P = 0.01). Shavings nests were better constructed (all...

The study of laboratory animal behavior has increased steadily over the last decade, with expanding emphasis on a variety of commonly used species. In the United States, this trend was initially focused on species for...

Despite growing interest in promoting positive welfare, rather than just alleviating poor welfare, potential measures of good welfare, and means to provide it, have remained elusive. In humans social support improves stress-coping abilities, health, and...

These guidelines aim to provide information for investigators, animal care committees, facility managers and animal care staff that will assist in improving both the care given to farm animals and the manner in which experimental...

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