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Applied Welfare

The following people are in this group:

More about this group

We develop and evaluate implementation strategies which promote human actions that improve the welfare of animals, at all levels from individuals to populations.

Improvements in animal welfare require changes in human behaviour.  Animal welfare can be influenced by human actions at various levels including individual owners, animal keepers, veterinary surgeons and government.  In the case of farmed animals, consumers and policymakers in the food supply chain are having an increasing influence on animal welfare standards. For individually owned companion animals, clinical animal behaviour has recently become a recognised specialisation within veterinary science. Evaluation of the optimum strategies for encouraging behavioural change is, therefore, a legitimate area of investigation for our group.  

There is considerable interest amongst policymakers from many sectors in work in this area.  As animal welfare science matures, promotion of the uptake of knowledge produced within animal welfare science is the logical next step for development.

What are we doing at the moment ?
The animal welfare and behaviour group has already established expertise in this area with projects extending across different countries, cultures, species and disciplines such as dairy cattle lameness, working equines and rehomed dogs.  Our behavioural referral clinic applies our research to the development and evaluation of new protocols for the treatment of behavioural disorders in companion animal species. We have the only centre approved by the European College to train veterinary residents in the UK, one of only 3 in Europe.
Expertise in this area is dependent upon existing strengths in fundamental welfare and behaviour, human attitudes and husbandry risk factors.  We also collaborate with others with the relevant specialist knowledge, both within and outside the University of Bristol.  This has ensured that skills have been developed within the group for approaches such as clinical trials, social marketing, facilitation and participatory rural appraisal.

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Within the University

Professor William Browne
Director - Centre for Multilevel Modelling