Animal Welfare and Behaviour


Our Research spans from fundamental studies of behaviour, cognition, emotion and development and validation of animal welfare assessment methodologies, through identifying and quantifying welfare problems and their causes in farm, laboratory, companion and working animals, to implementing research-based solutions in the world outside the lab. Through this integrated approach, implemented by a team of principal investigators, postdocs, postgraduate research students, research assistants and technicians, our research covers topics within Bristol Veterinary School’s Population Health and Global Food Security themes, and in other areas including Biology, Social Science, Psychology, and Neuroscience.


Professor Michael Mendl
Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Our Funders include Research Councils (e.g. BBSRC), Governmental Organisations (e.g. Defra, EU, Innovate UK), NGOs and Charitable Bodies (e.g. Cats Protection, Dogs Trust, RSPCA, HSA, John Oldacre Foundation, UFAW, US Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research, WUN) and Industry (e.g. AHDB, CIEL, Lintbells Ltd, Stonegate Farmers, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Zoetis Ltd).

Our Collaborators include other research communities in Bristol Veterinary School, and colleagues in the wider University (e.g. Schools of Biological Sciences, Education, Population Health Sciences, Physiology Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Psychological Science, and Computer Science). We also collaborate with researchers at other UK institutions and internationally.   

Our Teaching is principally on the Veterinary Science BVSc programmes, Veterinary Nursing BSc programmes, and the MSc in Global Wildlife Health and Conservation.

Our Research Impact involves effectively implementing scientific findings through legislation, assured standards schemes and knowledge transfer to improve animal welfare in the UK, Europe and developing countries. We are also involved in public engagement and education activities, and members of our group frequently appear in the media.

We Host and Run the BBSRC-UFAW Animal Welfare Research Network and The Bristol Cats Study.

We Have Access to Unique On-Site Research Facilities including the CIEL Poultry Research Farm, the John Oldacre Centre for Sustainability and Welfare in Dairy Production, and a 3T MRI in the Translational Biomedical Research Centre.

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