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Bristol academic to lead animal welfare scientific and technical advisory board

Dr Mohan Raj

Dr Mohan Raj

Press release issued: 16 November 2009

Dr Mohan Raj, international farm animal expert, has been appointed to lead a new animal welfare approved scientific and technical advisory board.

A world-renowned expert in humane slaughter and farm animal welfare, has been selected to lead Animal Welfare Approved (AWA)’s newly formed Scientific and Technical  Advisory Board.

Dr Mohan Raj, Reader in Farm Animal Welfare at the University of Bristol, is one of the foremost authorities in the field of humane stunning and slaughter and the developer of a novel and humane slaughter system for poultry and pigs using inert gases.  Dr Raj has published over 40 original scientific papers and authored chapters in textbooks and reference books

The (AWA) program has experienced tremendous growth over the past year. The creation of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Board is the next step in aiding the program in retaining its reputation as being driven by practical science while still grounding the standards in the everyday reality of farm life.

Andrew Gunther, AWA's Program Director, said: “Dr Raj will be instrumental in ensuring AWA standards respect and reflect the needs of the animals and farmers while not compromising good care.

“We are honoured and fortunate to have Dr Raj at the helm of our new Board. His experience and knowledge is second to none in the field.”


Further information

Dr Mohan Raj is a graduate of Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India, where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He completed his PhD at the Queen’s University of Belfast in Northern Ireland, UK. In 2008, Dr Raj was awarded the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) / Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Award for Innovative Developments in Animal Welfare for his “contribution and commitment to farm animal welfare science, particularly in the area of stunning, slaughter and killing.”

He is a member of the World Organization for Animal Health (known as the OIE based in Paris) and a member of the Federation of Veterinarians in Europe’s working group on stunning and slaughter of animals. Dr Raj has co-authored numerous reports adopted by the European Commission and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and been invited to speak at international conferences concerning animal welfare, including in the US.

Animal Welfare Approved audits and certifies family farms that raise their animals with the highest animal welfare standards, outdoors, on pasture or range. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has lauded these standards for two years running as being the most stringent when compared to other third-party certification programs. Visit for a searchable database of approved farms and restaurants, shops and markets where our farmers’ products are sold. Choose the one independent food label that means healthy, safe, environmentally responsible and humanely raised.

Please contact Joanne Fryer for further information.
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