Animal Welfare Research Network

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Clinical Veterinary Science

Abstract

Animal welfare continues to be an important issue for many members of the public. In a 2016 Eurobarometer survey of nearly 28,000 EU citizens, 94% believed that it was important to protect the welfare of farmed animals, and 57% said that it was very important to do so (Special Eurobarometer 442, 2016). A consequence is that debates on animal usage and animal welfare can be highly charged and emotive affairs, open to the influence of vested interests and biased argument. However, decisions by government and other stakeholders for future directions need to be based on information that is as unbiased and objective as possible. This information comes from systematic and scientific animal welfare research. A strong and sustained animal welfare research community is thus essential to underpin well-informed decisions that maintain and improve welfare.

To achieve greater interaction and cohesion within the UK animal welfare research community (probably the largest of its kind in the world), the Animal Welfare Research Network (AWRN) was set up in 2016. Since that time, its membership has grown to nearly 500, including animal welfare researchers but also neuroscientists, immunologists, social and political scientists and other academics, alongside representatives from charities, industry, research funding organisastions, policy-makers and government. Surveys indicate that members have benefitted by forming new collaborations, improving their skills as a researcher, improving their understanding of animal welfare research, becoming more aware of opportunities in the area, and achieving grant success.

In the next phase of the AWRN, we aim to continue and develop our activities including: (i) running 2-day annual meetings which incorporate networking activities, workshops (e.g. grant-writing), and research spotlight sessions with invited speakers; (ii) developing our early career researcher (ECR) activities to stimulate, encourage and mentor ECRs to develop into the next generation of PIs leading research grants applications and establishing animal welfare research groups (e.g. via researcher-exchange and cross-institute PhD training and mentoring); (iii) funding 3 member-led workshops per year to bring together animal welfare researchers and stakeholders / researchers in other relevant areas to discuss emerging topics of interest, run training sessions, and develop new contacts (at least one of these will be ring-fenced for ECRs each year); (iv) maintaining and developing our website (awrn.co.uk) with a particular focus on encouraging use of the internal-facing members area for discussion, sharing of information on methods, skills, new technologies, and findings; (v) further increasing membership, including exploring the potential for internationalisation with the support of a potential Network co-funder (UFAW); (vi) exploring future funding opportunities, including with UFAW and also bodies such as OpenPhilanthropy which has started to fund animal welfare-related projects, and considering the imposition of joining or subscription fees.

Technical Summary

Animal welfare remains an important area of public concern and source of potentially emotive argument. However, decisions by government and other stakeholders for future directions need to be based on information that is as unbiased and objective as possible. This requires a strong and sustained animal welfare research community to provide scientific information that can underpin informed decision-making. The Animal Welfare Research Network (AWRN) has been developed to support the UK animal welfare research community and its membership now numbers nearly 500. Surveys indicate that members perceive a range of benefits from the AWRN including increased collaboration, skills development, awareness of developments in the field and a deeper understanding of animal welfare research, awareness of funding opportunities, and grant success.

In the next phase of the AWRN, we will further develop our activities including: (i) running 2-day annual meetings incorporating networking activities, workshops, and research spotlight sessions; (ii) developing early career researcher (ECR) activities to stimulate, encourage and mentor ECRs to become the next generation of PIs and research group leaders; (iii) funding 3 member-led workshops per year to bring together animal welfare researchers and stakeholders / researchers in other relevant areas to discuss emerging topics of interest and run training sessions (ring-fencing at least 1 workshop per year for ECRs); (iv) developing our website (awrn.co.uk) with a particular focus on encouraging use of the internal-facing members area for discussion, and sharing of information on skills, new technologies etc.; (v) further increasing membership, including exploring the potential for internationalisation with the support of a potential AWRN co-funder (UFAW); (vi) exploring future funding opportunities, including with UFAW and also bodies such as OpenPhilanthropy, and considering the use of joining or subscription fees.

Planned Impact

Successful researcher networks such as the Animal Welfare Research Network (AWRN) strengthen research leading to welfare improvements and hence can underpin the impact of this research. For example, the generation of new welfare assessment tools, the potential for method standardisation in certain areas, and the increased communication between researchers working on different species and on different types of question (fundamental, applied, implementation), should all contribute to a stronger science and associated welfare improvements with a broader societal impact. Whilst this type of impact may take some time to be realised as clear-cut and implementable research findings, it can be promoted through a number of different routes involving communication and engagement.

First, increasing communication within the academic community should generate new collaborations and hence increase chances of impactful developments. We will continue to raise awareness about AWRN at meetings of other relevant academic societies (e.g. BSAS, AVTRW, ASAB, ISAE, BVA, WAFL). Further promotion via articles in subject-specific journals and more general science journals will also be carried out where relevant and when opportunities arise, and we will continue to forge connections with other network organisations outside the UK (e.g. USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture, French 'AbriBEA' welfare researchers network).

Second, enhanced communication with government, charities and other NGOs can allow science to be inserted more effectively into decision-making processes concerning animal welfare. AWRN will continue to act as a pool of expertise in animal welfare through the activities of its members and Coordinating Group on committees and panels, and by marshalling the membership to respond to governmental consultations or specific calls for information as we have done in the recent past on a number of welfare issues. We will also encourage government, charity and NGO representatives to join AWRN.

Communication with industry is an extremely important way of identifying pressing animal welfare issues and delivering solutions and implementing findings collaboratively. AWRN will run annual meetings and workshops that target specific industry areas or issues and encourage industry representatives to attend and to join the network. An industry-focused meeting on automation of welfare assessment is currently being organised.

Public engagement will be achieved through the website which provides up-to-date information on recent animal welfare research findings, and also through the activities of members communicating their work in schools, at festivals and through other routes. Promotion of AWRN through platforms such as Speakezee will advertise the range of expertise available in the network as a resource for media and those seeking to learn about animal welfare or tackle specific problems. We will also promote training in science communication, especially to early career researchers, and aim to run media training workshops that we have hosted previously.

Finally, communication with funders will remain an important part of AWRN's activities, seeking new funding sources and potential joint-funding opportunities. We will encourage funder representatives to join AWRN so that they can be kept up to date on developments in the field, and can alert AWRN members and Coordinating Group of upcoming funding initiatives.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Aims of the BBSRC-UFAW AWRN include: (i) developing networks and interactions between the UK animal welfare research community, researchers from other disciplines, and policy-makers, industry, and other stakeholders; (ii) developing our early career researcher (ECR) activities to stimulate, encourage and mentor ECRs to develop into the next generation of PIs leading research grants applications and establishing animal welfare research groups (e.g. via researcher-exchange and cross-institute PhD training and mentoring); (iii) communicating and publicising animal welfare research to the general public (e.g. via our website); (iv) facilitating the development of research ideas and grant applications in the area of animal welfare science; (v) further increasing membership, including exploring the potential for internationalisation. These are all achieved through a programme of annual meetings focused on timely and relevant topics; AWRN-funded workshops in topical areas of research; training workshops for AWRN members (e.g. grant writing; media training); an external facing website; articles describing the AWRN and its aims; new Animal Welfare Seeding Awards worth £200,000 distributed to members. . These activities and their outcomes are mainly described in the 'engagement' section of this Researchfish report.
Exploitation Route Outcomes of our activities can be used by industry collaborators; policy-makers; third sector organisations to develop animal welfare focused methods, practices and policies. AWRN encourages collaborations between researchers within and outwith animal welfare science with the goal of increasing successful animal welfare grant applications and associated research to improve the welfare of animals. Our ECR mentoring and workshop programme should provide younger researchers with skills, experiences and collaborators that will help them to develop their research interests, win research grants and successfully progress their careers. Animal Welfare Seeding Awards should allow development of impactful applications in collaboration with industry partners.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://awrn.co.uk/
 
Description Outcomes of our activities have included providing advice to policy-makers, providing fora for knowledge exchange between researchers and stakeholders, and facilitating industry-academic collaborations via our 2019-20 £200,000 Animal Welfare Seeding Awards scheme. All of these have the potential to lead to non-academic impacts and specifics are described under the Collaborations and Engagement Activities sections. MAR 2021: One of the projects awarded funding under the Seeding Awards scheme has resulted in the development and release of an app to allow Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) recording of welfare on farm conditions. This project driven by Prof Francoise Wemelsfelder at SRUC is now being trialled by Waitrose as a novel approach to welfare assessment on their 1800 farms,
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description UKRI-BBSRC award to AWRN of up to £200,000 for Animal Welfare Seeding Awards
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2019 
End 03/2020
 
Description Animal Welfare Seeding Awards were coordinated by AWRN to bring together academics and industry partners in a range of projects 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Universities of Newcastle and Bristol administered this £200,000 scheme advertising the Seeding Awards (which could include proof of concept studies, knowledge exchange activities, sandpit events), filtering and assessing applications with the AWRN Coordinating Group, awarding successful applicants and coordinating the distribution of funds and the receipt of final reports. All of this was done between Sept 2019 and March 2020, with each successful applicant being required to spend their awards (up to £40,000) by end of Fen 2020. 21 submissions were received and the following 7 were funded (lead academic is named, but all involved industry partners) a. Proof of Concept: "Automated welfare monitoring of dairy cows using 3-dimensional imaging and deep learning" Prof Melvyn Smith University of West of England. b. Proof of Concept: "Factors affecting bird distribution in loose housed laying systems" Dr Kate Norman, Royal Veterinary College. c. Proof of Concept: "The roll-out of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) in commercial livestock welfare management through mobile application technology" Prof Francoise Wemelsfelder, Scotland's Rural College. d. Proof of Concept: "National roll out of an online lameness recording system for UK sheep farmers" Prof Laura Green, University of Birmingham. e. Proof of Concept: "Development of a Health & Welfare Index for broilers using vocalisation data" Dr Lucy Asher, University of Newcastle. f. Knowledge Exchange: "Non-invasive EEG for fish: an international industry-academic collaboration" Prof Jimmy Turnbull, University of Stirling. g. Sandpit Event: "Sandpit event to generate research and development ideas designed to improve the sustainability of the UK poultry industry while protecting and improving animal welfare" Dr S Lambton, University of Bristol.
Collaborator Contribution See above for summary of the collaborations generated.
Impact As detailed above, we have funded the following Seeding Awards. Outputs from the awards have not yet been realised. a. Proof of Concept: "Automated welfare monitoring of dairy cows using 3-dimensional imaging and deep learning" Prof Melvyn Smith University of West of England. b. Proof of Concept: "Factors affecting bird distribution in loose housed laying systems" Dr Kate Norman, Royal Veterinary College. c. Proof of Concept: "The roll-out of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) in commercial livestock welfare management through mobile application technology" Prof Francoise Wemelsfelder, Scotland's Rural College. d. Proof of Concept: "National roll out of an online lameness recording system for UK sheep farmers" Prof Laura Green, University of Birmingham. e. Proof of Concept: "Development of a Health & Welfare Index for broilers using vocalisation data" Dr Lucy Asher, University of Newcastle. f. Knowledge Exchange: "Non-invasive EEG for fish: an international industry-academic collaboration" Prof Jimmy Turnbull, University of Stirling. g. Sandpit Event: "Sandpit event to generate research and development ideas designed to improve the sustainability of the UK poultry industry while protecting and improving animal welfare" Dr S Lambton, University of Bristol.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Animal Welfare Seeding Awards were coordinated by AWRN to bring together academics and industry partners in a range of projects 
Organisation University of Newcastle
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Universities of Newcastle and Bristol administered this £200,000 scheme advertising the Seeding Awards (which could include proof of concept studies, knowledge exchange activities, sandpit events), filtering and assessing applications with the AWRN Coordinating Group, awarding successful applicants and coordinating the distribution of funds and the receipt of final reports. All of this was done between Sept 2019 and March 2020, with each successful applicant being required to spend their awards (up to £40,000) by end of Fen 2020. 21 submissions were received and the following 7 were funded (lead academic is named, but all involved industry partners) a. Proof of Concept: "Automated welfare monitoring of dairy cows using 3-dimensional imaging and deep learning" Prof Melvyn Smith University of West of England. b. Proof of Concept: "Factors affecting bird distribution in loose housed laying systems" Dr Kate Norman, Royal Veterinary College. c. Proof of Concept: "The roll-out of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) in commercial livestock welfare management through mobile application technology" Prof Francoise Wemelsfelder, Scotland's Rural College. d. Proof of Concept: "National roll out of an online lameness recording system for UK sheep farmers" Prof Laura Green, University of Birmingham. e. Proof of Concept: "Development of a Health & Welfare Index for broilers using vocalisation data" Dr Lucy Asher, University of Newcastle. f. Knowledge Exchange: "Non-invasive EEG for fish: an international industry-academic collaboration" Prof Jimmy Turnbull, University of Stirling. g. Sandpit Event: "Sandpit event to generate research and development ideas designed to improve the sustainability of the UK poultry industry while protecting and improving animal welfare" Dr S Lambton, University of Bristol.
Collaborator Contribution See above for summary of the collaborations generated.
Impact As detailed above, we have funded the following Seeding Awards. Outputs from the awards have not yet been realised. a. Proof of Concept: "Automated welfare monitoring of dairy cows using 3-dimensional imaging and deep learning" Prof Melvyn Smith University of West of England. b. Proof of Concept: "Factors affecting bird distribution in loose housed laying systems" Dr Kate Norman, Royal Veterinary College. c. Proof of Concept: "The roll-out of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) in commercial livestock welfare management through mobile application technology" Prof Francoise Wemelsfelder, Scotland's Rural College. d. Proof of Concept: "National roll out of an online lameness recording system for UK sheep farmers" Prof Laura Green, University of Birmingham. e. Proof of Concept: "Development of a Health & Welfare Index for broilers using vocalisation data" Dr Lucy Asher, University of Newcastle. f. Knowledge Exchange: "Non-invasive EEG for fish: an international industry-academic collaboration" Prof Jimmy Turnbull, University of Stirling. g. Sandpit Event: "Sandpit event to generate research and development ideas designed to improve the sustainability of the UK poultry industry while protecting and improving animal welfare" Dr S Lambton, University of Bristol.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Animal Welfare Seeding Awards: "Non-invasive EEG for fish: an international industry-academic collaboration" (Sept 2019 - Mar 2020) 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution As part of the AWRN 2019 Animal Welfare Seeding Awards a Knowledge Exchange project on "Non-invasive EEG for fish: an international industry-academic collaboration" was funded. The parties involved were University of Bristol, University of Stirling, SLU Gothenburg, ACE Aquatec Ltd and Silso Livestock Ltd. A firm collaborative base was established between all the academic and industrial partners, including commercial processing sites. This included the exchange of a great deal of understanding, detailed discussions on: available resources, researchable constraints, IP and concrete plans for future cooperation. Humane slaughter is an essential part of ethical food production and EEG is essential for determining if methods of stunning are humane. Up to this point accurate EEG measurement in fish required surgical implantation of electrodes, this is far from ideal in terms of animal welfare and was impractical under commercial conditions. The consortium of academics and industry partners have made excellent progress during this brief project and it would now appear realistic that they will be able to use non-invasive EEG to monitor the efficacy of commercial stunning of fish at slaughter at a pilot scale within the next year and at a commercial scale within 2 to 3 years. They have discussed potential future collaborative funding applications both to work on fundamental scientific questions and further develop the field EEG measuring equipment. There are proposals in the pipe line for work on Clarias spp. catfish and tilapia, these include include SLU, Ace Aquatec, and a Swedish company developing recirculation aquaculture facilities in southern Sweden. Future cooperation will include visits between the UK and Swedish partners and coordinated research on a target species to share information, benefit from each other's progress and avoid duplication of effort. There are already resources to achieve the initial collaboration, this will be funded by an existing Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) grant and an existing Swedish grant.
Collaborator Contribution See above.
Impact International collaboration with industry, including processing sites. Advances in tech including production of a prototype. Funding for further work. Paper published.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Animal Welfare Seeding Awards: "Non-invasive EEG for fish: an international industry-academic collaboration" (Sept 2019 - Mar 2020) 
Organisation University of Stirling
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution As part of the AWRN 2019 Animal Welfare Seeding Awards a Knowledge Exchange project on "Non-invasive EEG for fish: an international industry-academic collaboration" was funded. The parties involved were University of Bristol, University of Stirling, SLU Gothenburg, ACE Aquatec Ltd and Silso Livestock Ltd. A firm collaborative base was established between all the academic and industrial partners, including commercial processing sites. This included the exchange of a great deal of understanding, detailed discussions on: available resources, researchable constraints, IP and concrete plans for future cooperation. Humane slaughter is an essential part of ethical food production and EEG is essential for determining if methods of stunning are humane. Up to this point accurate EEG measurement in fish required surgical implantation of electrodes, this is far from ideal in terms of animal welfare and was impractical under commercial conditions. The consortium of academics and industry partners have made excellent progress during this brief project and it would now appear realistic that they will be able to use non-invasive EEG to monitor the efficacy of commercial stunning of fish at slaughter at a pilot scale within the next year and at a commercial scale within 2 to 3 years. They have discussed potential future collaborative funding applications both to work on fundamental scientific questions and further develop the field EEG measuring equipment. There are proposals in the pipe line for work on Clarias spp. catfish and tilapia, these include include SLU, Ace Aquatec, and a Swedish company developing recirculation aquaculture facilities in southern Sweden. Future cooperation will include visits between the UK and Swedish partners and coordinated research on a target species to share information, benefit from each other's progress and avoid duplication of effort. There are already resources to achieve the initial collaboration, this will be funded by an existing Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) grant and an existing Swedish grant.
Collaborator Contribution See above.
Impact International collaboration with industry, including processing sites. Advances in tech including production of a prototype. Funding for further work. Paper published.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Animal welfare seeding awards: Automated welfare monitoring of dairy cows using 3-dimensional imaging and deep learning 
Organisation University of the West of England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Commercial application of lameness scoring (ongoing use on 11 farms) developed by UWE researchers working with Agsenze Ltd, Westpoint Farm Vets Tld, Agri-Epi Centre
Collaborator Contribution AWRN seeding awards allowed proof of concept to be established on farms leading to grant submission.
Impact Grant submitted and results pending
Start Year 2020
 
Description Animal welfare seeding awards: Development of a Health & Welfare Index or broilers using vocalisation data 
Organisation Newcastle University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Newcastle researchers developed methods for recording / assessing vocalizations as an indicator of welfare
Collaborator Contribution AWRN seeding award allowed collaboration with Applied Poultry / Hudson & Sanders Ltd and Agsenze Ltd to develop and improve a new data collection platform, identify welfare thresholds and hence lead on to Innovate funding applications.
Impact Platform and further funding applications developed
Start Year 2020
 
Description Animal welfare seeding awards: National roll out of an online lameness recording system for UK sheep farmers 
Organisation University of Birmingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Birmingham researchers developed online lameness recording system for farmers
Collaborator Contribution AWRN seeding award allowed Birmingham researchers to establish an ongoing collaboration with tech company Border software and stakeholders to develop technical solution to implementation of the online recording system
Impact Ongoing development of technical solution
Start Year 2020
 
Description Animal welfare seeding awards: The roll-out of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) in commercial livestock welfare management through mobile application technology 
Organisation Scotland's Rural College
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Development by SRUC scientists of a new method for assessing animal welfare on commercial farms
Collaborator Contribution AWRN seeding funding allowed development and completion of mobile phone application (Android and iOS) to implement method in the field. Commercial licensing agreement with new industry partner (ensuring app / QBA roll out) was established, a paper published, and the app rollout by Waitrose supermarkets.
Impact An app to be used by assessors to evaluate welfare of animals on Waitrose associated provider farms has been rolled out (see: https://waitrose.pressarea.com/pressrelease/details/78/NEWS_13/12794)
Start Year 2020
 
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Reading University and the Donkey Sanctuary 
Organisation The Donkey Sanctuary
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution A 34 month Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Reading University and The Donkey Sanctuary (Sidmouth) arising from networking activity of the first AWRN BBSRC grant and has been growing since. Reading is providing research project ideas and supervision of PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution The Donkey Sanctuary is providing ideas, facilities and resources for research, plus sponsorship of PhD students.
Impact Conference paper: Bennett, Richard & Pfuderer, Simone, 2019. "Demand for donkey hides and implications for global donkey populations," 93rd Annual Conference, April 15-17, 2019, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 289683, Agricultural Economics Society - AES.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Reading University and the Donkey Sanctuary 
Organisation University of Reading
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A 34 month Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Reading University and The Donkey Sanctuary (Sidmouth) arising from networking activity of the first AWRN BBSRC grant and has been growing since. Reading is providing research project ideas and supervision of PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution The Donkey Sanctuary is providing ideas, facilities and resources for research, plus sponsorship of PhD students.
Impact Conference paper: Bennett, Richard & Pfuderer, Simone, 2019. "Demand for donkey hides and implications for global donkey populations," 93rd Annual Conference, April 15-17, 2019, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 289683, Agricultural Economics Society - AES.
Start Year 2019
 
Title Method for impementing QBA welfare assessment in the field developed by SRUC (F. Wemelsfelder) 
Description The app, whose development was part-funded by an AWRN seeding award, allows users to rate the behaviour and welfare of farm animals, integrating information to provide an overview of the welfare of animals on farms relative to each other 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact This app is now being trialled by Waitrose in collaboration with its creator - welfare scientist Francoise Wemelsfelder (SRUC) 
URL https://waitrose.pressarea.com/pressrelease/details/78/NEWS_13/12794
 
Description 1) Fourth Annual Meeting of the Animal Welfare Research Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The 4th Annual Meeting of the AWRN was attended by researchers (including postgraduate students), policy makers, industry and charity representatives. It covered a range of topics including: Global Animal Welfare: International Collaboration, Funding and Global Challenges, Human Behaviour Change for Animals, Microbiome and the Gut Brain Axis and New Developments in Animal Welfare Science. Mike Mendl and Poppy Statham presented updates on the work of the AWRN and Lucy Asher and Karen Spencer launched the Early Career Mentoring Scheme. There were breakout groups on topics including designing cognitive bias tasks, compassionate handling, ECR Mentoring and Cost of Caring the effects of work-related mental health on the welfare of animals. Opportunities to develop new links and collaborations were offered including a speed networking session and a drinks event. The event was positively received by Network Members and representatives from industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://awrn.co.uk/event/fourth-annual-meeting-of-awrn/
 
Description 5) Animal Welfare Seeding Awards - Sandpit Event to generate research and development ideas designed to improve the sustainability of the UK poultry industry while protecting and improving animal welfare 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Day-long workshop on 14th January attended by four research institutes, three industry bodies/forums, representatives from thirteen companies associated with the poultry industry, as well as CIEL and Innovate UK. They held an information session in the morning highlighting past and present poultry research at the research institutes, as well as government research priorities. The afternoon was dedicated to a workshop teasing out the issues and research priorities for the poultry industry and generating project ideas which address those priorities. 35 topics were generated, from which four proposals were considered in detail, three of these reached the initial stages of development into a full application for the Innovate funding call, although for a variety of reasons none attained submission for this call. Efforts are now being made to identify suitable funding for these proposals for submission in the future. In addition a number of collaborative consortia including industry and researchers which will help to generate future research ideas and proposals. Main outputs included generating a list of key research areas for laying hens and three proposals for future research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description AWRN Co-Funded Workshop on Welfare Indicators for Novel Species in Aquaculture 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event was attended by nearly 80 delegates, ranging from welfare researchers and advocates, fish farm managers, veterinarians, students and funders all with an interest in aquaculture welfare. The morning symposium aimed to raise awareness about the importance of welfare in novel species to aquaculture, to identify commonalities and differences in the welfare requirements of different farmed species and was looking for common welfare metrics that could potentially be applied for multiple species. The afternoon workshops aimed to specifically examine the welfare of Lumpfish, by identifying key limitations and challenges in implementing lumpfish welfare, explore solutions and new services and contribute to the publication of a lumpfish welfare code of practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://awrn.co.uk/event/welfare-indicators-for-novel-species-in-aquaculture/
 
Description AWRN Funded Workshop on Companion Animal Welfare Science (CAWS) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event was attended by 60 delegates with an interest in companion animal welfare. There were sessions on collecting CAWS data at an individual level in a session chaired by a Coordinating Group member who spoke on their research alongside others working in this area. A representative from BBSRC also spoke to delegates about funding opportunities in this area. The second session was on epidemiological methods for collecting CAWS data. There were then breakout groups on grant opportunities for ECRs, perceived barriers to funding and mentorship needs and how CAWS funding success can be improved, barriers and opportunities for collaborations between academia, industry and charities. The day was ended with networking opportunities for the delegates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://awrn.co.uk/event/implementing-new-methods-to-improve-companion-animal-welfare-science-caws-i...
 
Description AWRN Website - updated 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The AWRN website was established with two sections. The first is a public-facing section which describes what the AWRN is, what we do, promotes current research in the field and increases knowledge about animal welfare research. There is also information about upcoming meetings and reports from past meetings, interviews with key animal welfare researchers and details of membership in this section. The other part of the AWRN website can only be viewed by members when they are logged in, this has recordings and materials from previous AWRN meetings, a members directory and forums for discussion. Although set up in the original AWRN grant, both sections are regularly updated with current research articles and presentations from meetings as well as job and funding opportunities and upcoming meetings, meaning it is highly relevant to this grant as an ongoing project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021
URL https://awrn.co.uk/
 
Description AWRN-Funded Outreach Workshop on the Emotional Cost of Caring 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event was attended by over 90 professionals from all across the UK and other EU countries with a broad mix of veterinarians, technologists, scientists, academics and laboratory animal science associations. The speakers included academics and professionals researching the emotions and challenges of animal technicians within this field from the Universities of Oxford and Cardiff, experts from RCVS and QMUL on the roles of communication from health professional field who have assisted in developing mental health programmes and understand the possible benefits of psychological counselling with experience in Mindfulness, and also named veterinary surgeons on the emotional challenges associated to its care and welfare and compliance professional responsibilities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://awrn.co.uk/event/the-emotional-cost-of-caring-managing-emotional-burden-when-working-with-la...
 
Description AWRN-funded Grant Writing and Reviewing Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Over 40 delegates (primarily early career researchers) attended this online workshop, which was due to be part of our Annual Meeting but which transferred to online format due to COVID restrictions. With the support of Luke Williams from BBSRC and senior animal welfare researchers we ran 5 mock grant panels. Delegates reviewed proposals in advance and participated fully in the panels giving insight to the BBSRC review process. The day also included presentations and Q&A on what makes a grant successful, how to fail better and how the process differs with other funding bodies. The feedback from delegates was incredibly positive, increasing their confidence in submitting proposals to BBSRC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://awrn.co.uk/2020/10/01/report-on-grant-writing-and-reviewing-workshop/
 
Description AWRN-funded Workshop on Novel Minimally Invasive Tools to Investigate Animal Behaviour and Welfare 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 92 delegates attended the workshop, including researchers, stakeholders and those working for charities. The morning session comprised talks from experts on the use of automatic monitoring of the welfare of zebrafish, rodents and dairy cows. The afternoon session involved species-specific breakout groups to discuss the application of technologies from a practical perspective, propose their ideal monitoring solutions and consider the potential issues. Very positive feedback was received from delegates who enjoyed the multi-species approach of this workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://awrn.co.uk/2021/02/24/report-on-awrn-funded-workshop-on-novel-minimally-invasive-tools/
 
Description AWRN-funded Workshop on Novel methods of Human Behaviour Change for Improving Animal Welfare 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Around 45 people attended the first session of this workshop aiming to learn more about Human Behaviour Change (HBC) and how it can be applied to their animal welfare projects. This workshop was so over-subscribed that delegates were selected according to how applicable it was to their current projects. Talks introduced the topics and described the framework that should be applied. Delegates are currently working through tutorials and producing a HBC plan of their own before the second session which takes place in March 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://awrn.co.uk/event/awrn-workshop-on-novel-methods-of-human-behaviour-change-for-improving-anim...
 
Description AWRN-funded Workshop on Precision Livestock Farming 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Over 80 AWRN members participated in this online workshop to discuss the challenges and benefits of Precision Livestock Farming. Talks from 4 invited speakers (introducing PLF, discussing the benefits and risks, focusing on specific future applications and on underexamined ethical perspectives) were combined with small group discussions to increase knowledge exchange. Talks were recorded and made available to members of the AWRN and a paper has been submitted for publication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://awrn.co.uk/2021/02/24/report-on-precision-livestock-farming-workshop/
 
Description Early Career Researcher Monthly Meet Ups 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact In December 2020 we started hosting monthly meet ups for Early Career Researchers, giving them the opportunity to network, support each other and gain some training. We felt this was important given the additional strain that COVID has placed on ECRs in particular. Initial sessions established what ECRs would like to gain from these sessions and gave them a chance to informally chat about topics of interest. Upcoming sessions include "Careers outside of academia" and "Time management".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description It is not just you: results from a survey assessing the professional experiences of research staff and postgraduate students in managing work during the COVID-19 lockdown 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Discussion of findings of survey on impact of Covid-19 on researchers in animal behaviour and welfare with a specific focus on early career researchers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Presentation on "The BBSRC-UFAW Animal Welfare Research Network (AWRN) - Membership, Research Findings and Future Vision" given at LASA Annual Meeting 2019, Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk on AWRN presented to UK laboratory animal science community to showcase the network and its activities to potential new members in this research area. Lots of interest expressed, including in AWRN workshop on the emotional cost of caring for lab animals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation on "The BBSRC-UFAW Animal Welfare Research Network in 2019" given at UFAW International Symposium 2019, Bruges, Belgium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk to describe the AWRN to potential new members, including those outside the UK in line with our strategy to start internationalising our membership. Many attendees joined as a result of this.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ufaw.org.uk/ufaw-events/advancing-animal-welfare-science