Animal Welfare and Behaviour is comprised of the following research areas:
The Animal Welfare and Behaviour (AWB) research area encompasses fundamental studies of animal behaviour, cognition and emotion, strategic and applied studies of animal welfare issues, and the implementation of research findings and solutions, involving farm, companion, laboratory, zoo and working animals. AWB incorporates the research of more than 80 staff has an international reputation for excellence and collaborates with scientists worldwide.
Our studies of animal behaviour, cognition and emotion provide fundamental information about the mental abilities and experiences of animals managed by man, and underpin the development of new welfare assessment methods. We also investigate how environmental and genetic factors contribute to the aetiology of behaviour problems and to variations in how animals cope with welfare challenges, as well as how welfare state influences immune function. Our expertise in biostatistics and mathematical modelling provides new approaches to data analysis and opportunities for theoretical modelling approaches to behaviour, evolutionary and welfare-relevant questions.
Our strategic and applied research seeks to understand the causes and consequences of welfare issues in real-life situations, identifying risk factors and using welfare indicator methods in the field (on the farm, in the lab, during transport, at the abattoir, in developing countries). We seek to understand and treat behaviour problems in companion animals. We are also interested in the psychology of people’s attitudes to animal welfare issues and the ethical issues surrounding our interactions with animals.
We seek solutions to welfare problems and have a significant programme of work aimed at implementing research findings in the real world. Implementation can involve changing current practices by devising ways of altering human behaviour. Our research has significant impact on the management of farmed species.