The Government-funded Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has pledged more than £100,000 to establish a network that will foster collaboration within the UK animal welfare research community.
The network will be headed by Mike Mendl, professor of animal behaviour and welfare at the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Science and one of the UK’s leading experts on animal behaviour.
The UK Animal Welfare Research Network, led by Prof Mendl, will bring together UK animal welfare researchers and those in related disciplines with professionals from industry bodies, charities and Government.
It 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.
It will also foster skills and collaboration by facilitating mentoring and training opportunities for early career researchers.
A website will be set up 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.
Prof Mendl said the UK had 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,” he said.
“We also hope it will provide resources, training opportunities and support for the next generation of animal welfare scientists.”