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Network to foster the best in animal welfare research

Professor Mike Mendl

Mike Mendl, Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Press release issued: 6 November 2015

BBSRC has pledged over £100,000 to establish a network that will foster collaboration within the UK animal welfare research community. The network will be headed by one of the UK’s leading experts on animal behaviour, Professor Mike Mendl from the University of Bristol.

Ensuring high standards of welfare for managed animals such as livestock and domestic animals is high on the agenda for both the public and a wide range of stakeholders. Decisions about the needs of animals by government and stakeholders therefore must be based on objective scientific research.

The UK Animal Welfare Research Network, led by Mike Mendl, Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare, will bring together UK animal welfare researchers and those in related disciplines with professionals from across the sphere including industry bodies, charities and government. The network will share best practice and knowledge through workshops and associated events, identifying research gaps and areas where increased focus could strengthen and support UK animal welfare research. To foster skills and collaboration, the network will also facilitate mentoring and training opportunities for early career researchers.

In the coming months, a website will be created to provide a hub of knowledge to inform the public and other stakeholders about the challenges, strengths and achievements of animal welfare research in the UK.

Mike Mendl, Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare in the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol, said: “The UK has a strong track record in animal welfare research. This BBSRC-funded network offers a great opportunity for further strengthening the area by facilitating collaborations between welfare scientists, and with those in other disciplines, and by bringing researchers together with stakeholders. We also hope that it will provide resources, training opportunities and support for the next generation of animal welfare scientists.”

Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC Executive Director of Science, added: “Excellent UK bioscience has played a vital role in the development of improved animal welfare. This network will help to share best practice and knowledge in animal welfare: a far reaching issue with significant social and economic importance.”


Further information


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, BBSRC invested over £509M in world-class bioscience in 2014-15. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see:

For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see:

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