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. 

In the recent past, animal welfare studies have tried to determine the best animal welfare measures and indicators. Expression of behavioural diversity is considered a potential positive welfare indicator, and to the authors’ knowledge, it...

Modern freestall barns for dairy cattle have been constructed with considerations for dairy cow cleanliness; partitions and other stall features such as neck rails are designed to reduce manure contamination of bedding and decrease farm...

The past few decades have seen increased interest in studies examining the welfare of elephants and animal–visitor interactions. One understudied area for both pursuits is the impact of public feeding interactions. Our study examined the...

Animal models of human diseases are important in biomedical research. When using animals for scientific purposes, the 3Rs (replace, reduce, refine) should be considered. Refinement of animal models is essential to ensure best use of...

Identification marking mice commonly involves ear-punching with or without anaesthetic, or tail-marking with ink. To identify which is most humane, we marked weanling male BALB/c mice using ear-punching (EP), ear-punching with anaesthetic EMLATM cream (EP+A)...

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...

Measuring animal activity is useful for monitoring animal welfare in real time. In this regard, passive infrared detectors have been used in recent years to quantify piglet activity because of their robustness and ease of...

Changes in skin mucus production and composition offer a new means to study how fish cope with changes in the environment. We explored the utility of skin mucus as an indicator of physiological responses and...

The UK has long been hailed as one of the world leaders in animal welfare. Within the UK, animals used in experiments are provided some protection under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA). This...

Laying hens in the UK and EU must be provided with litter for pecking and scratching. In enriched cages, this is commonly provided by dispensing layer’s feed onto a scratch mat. Mats vary in design...

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...

The satisfaction of leisure horses’ behavioral needs has begun to be considered a priority, linked to the awareness that horses kept in single boxes may be deprived of social contact and the possibility to perform...

Zoos and aquaria must provide optimal husbandry conditions and the highest welfare standards for their animals. How the welfare state of an animal or a group of animals can be precisely assessed is currently under...

Being in a confined environment causes chronic stress in gestating sows, which is detrimental for sow health, welfare and, consequently, offspring physiology. This study assessed the health and welfare of gestating sows housed in a...

We tested whether territorial fish (Nile tilapia) perceive body tactile stimulation as a positive or negative resource. Individual male fish were placed for eight days in an aquarium containing a rectangular PVC frame, which was...

Research animals are important for scientific advancement, and therefore, their long-term welfare needs to be monitored to not only minimize suffering, but to provide positive affective states and experiences. Currently, there is limited guidance in...

There is an increasing focus on evidence-based welfare assessment by animal care staff in zoos, along with a strong interest in animal welfare by the zoo-visiting public, to the extent that this can influence their...

Tail-biting is globally recognized as a welfare concern for commercial swine production. Substantial research has been undertaken to identify risk factors and intervention methods to decrease and understand this vice. Tail-biting appears to be multifactorial...

The provision and quality of bedding materials affect the behaviour, welfare, and health of dairy cows. The objective of this study was to evaluate the preference, behaviour, cleanliness, and physiological status of cows on three...

Due to a rising demand for goat milk and goat milk products worldwide, it is likely that dairy goat production will be intensified in the future, with larger herds per farm. In Switzerland, as in...

Intraspecific aggression is detrimental to body/fin damage, physiological stress, and other problems in aquaculture. Environmental enrichment has been proposed to have positive effects on fish aggressive behavior, physiological stress, and fish welfare, but there are...

Sea stars in research are often lethally sampled without available methodology to render them insensible prior to sampling due to concerns over sufficient sample quality for applied molecular techniques. The objectives of this study were...

Weaning and mixing cause substantial social stress among piglets and frequently lead to stress, injury, inflammation, immunosuppression and growth retardation. This study aimed to investigate the effects of different early social environments on social behavior...

Consistent with boredom, prior work has found that mink raised in non-enriched (NE) or enriched (E) conditions differ in their motivations to seek stimulation: NE mink spent more time oriented towards and in contact with...

Share This!