AWF funding to examine impact of breeding on welfare - Veterinary Practice
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AWF funding to examine impact of breeding on welfare

The Animal Welfare Foundation has announced new funding available for researchers to examine impacts of breeding on animal welfare

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF), the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) charity, is calling for researchers to submit funding bids for research projects that will enable the veterinary and animal welfare community to better understand the long-term impacts of breeding on animal welfare.  

This year AWF, which uses veterinary and scientific knowledge to improve animal welfare through research, education and debate, is looking to fund several UK based projects and will be awarding a combined total of £150,000.

The charity is now calling for research proposals that cover the topic “Meeting demand without compromising animal welfare” in any species. Changes to demand create ever more challenges for animal welfare, for example the demand for flat faced dogs, for increased food production efficiency and for lower carbon footprints in livestock food production systems. AWF is looking for research that addresses the question of whether there are ways to meet these demands without compromising welfare.

AWF envisages that this topic area will generate proposals covering a range of issues, including those highlighting what is working well, and possible solutions, not just where the problems are. It will also consider exceptional projects on welfare issues that do not fall within the breeding theme, providing they meet the robust scientific criteria.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for projects lasting up to 18 months. If successful, applicants will be invited to share their research with veterinary professionals and the wider animal welfare community.

This research call is part of AWF’s three-year theme “Breeding for Better Welfare”, encompassing serious welfare issues across a range of species. As well as guiding AWF to fund meaningful research, the theme also contributes to AWF’s activities of discussion and debate.

Chair of AWF Julian Kupfer said: “Scientific research leading to a significant and practical impact on animal welfare issues is at the heart of AWF’s work, with the overall aim to ensure that animal welfare remains high on the agenda. 

“Our current theme for research is breeding as it is central to discussions across all species we encounter as professionals, whether it be for aesthetic, financial, and, increasingly, sustainability reasons.

“We are therefore delighted to once again be able to offer funding and invite applications for research projects focusing on the animal welfare impacts of breeding across different species.

“We’re particularly keen to see projects which aim to collect baseline data on a welfare issue, which may be a starting point for discussion and wider policy making, as well as a potential lead to more applied research.”

AWF is running a two-tier application process, with researchers submitting overview proposals before being invited to submit a full application.

The deadline for overview applications is 9am on Thursday 29 September 2022. For more information including criteria for applications, visit the Animal Welfare Foundation’s website.

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