Harris, K., New, R., Smith, P. et al. 2019. Refinement: promoting Gallus Gallus welfare in an experimental poultry unit. Animal Technology and Welfare 18(2), 137-139. (IAT Congress 2018 Poster Presentation)
The poultry team at The Pirbright Institute reviewed existing husbandry practices and trialled several refinement practices. The objective was to provide the birds used in research with an environment which enables them to express their natural behaviours and habituates them towards human contact, including procedures, with the potential to reduce cumulative suffering. This is especially important for animals used in research as stress is known to alter physiological and immunological responses, which could affect the results from infectious disease research. This poster summarises refinement approaches, including enrichment products used in the commercial poultry industry and pet trade. Various items of enrichment have been introduced through observing natural behaviour and interest. This poster presents refinement approaches which have been subjectively assessed as being of benefit to the birds. Future work will consist of implementing a more objective assessment of benefit of these refinement approaches, such as quantitative behavioural assessment.