Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group ranked best in the world
7 February 2020
Bristol Veterinary School’s Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group has been ranked the most successful of its kind in the last 50 years, in the world - with new research demonstrating that it’s the most widely published and highly cited in the field of animal welfare (Freire and Nicol 2019).
The Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group leads on a variety of impactful projects, including working with the British Horseracing Authority to develop a welfare assessment protocol for racehorses in training, and developing a pioneering ‘cognitive bias’ approach to understand how the level of optimism or pessimism shown by animals reflects their underlying welfare state.
Research Group Lead, Professor Michael Mendl said: “We have a long history of producing outstanding research that leads not only to a better understanding of animal lives but also to improvements in their welfare. The Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group currently has around 50 researchers working at the cutting edge of areas from animal emotion to practical welfare assessment across a range of species in companion, farm, laboratory and wild settings. As societal concern for animal welfare grows, our work is increasingly valuable in helping individuals and policy makers deliver improved animal welfare in line with their values.”
Using an integrated approach, the group’s research covers topics within Bristol Veterinary School’s Population Health and Global Food Security themes, as well as other areas including Biology, Social Science, Psychology, and Neuroscience. These include; fundamental studies of behaviour, cognition, emotion and development and validation of animal welfare assessment methodologies, as well as identifying and quantifying welfare problems and their causes in farm, laboratory, companion and working animals and then implementing research-based solutions in the world.