Animal Welfare and Behaviour

Research areas

Animal Welfare and Behaviour is comprised of the following research areas:

Overview

Research in Animal Welfare and Behaviour spans fundamental studies of cognition and emotion, through validation of animal welfare assessment methodologies, identifying and quantifying welfare problems and their causes in farm, laboratory, companion and working animals, to implementing research based solutions in the ‘real world’. This unique integrated approach is achieved by collaborations between senior principle investigators with expertise in different areas, including fundamental behaviour, cognition, emotion; companion animal behaviour; welfare on farm and implementation of welfare solutions; and statistical and mathematical approaches.

The group collaborates extensively with others outside of the School, and AWB research is firmly embedded within the University Research Centre for Behavioural Biology (an interdisciplinary venture between biological sciences, mathematics and veterinary sciences).

Some of the group’s major achievements include:

  • Establishing the quantitative relationship between the two main animal welfare assessment methodologies, including the first ever validation of welfare indicators against animal choice.
  • Mathematically modelling social interactions to provide a theoretical framework on which to build an understanding of dyadic and group social behaviour. 
  • Effectively implementing scientific findings through legislation, assured standards and knowledge transfer to improve animal welfare in the UK, Europe and developing countries.

Selected articles from our news archive:

The foundations of empathy are found in the chicken

Animal welfare researchers in Israel break new ground