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Animal WelfAre Research in an enlarged Europe

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Cooperating to improve farm animal welfare

Member States differ greatly in their farm animal welfare (FAW) perceptions, research, education and laws. An EU initiative set out to promote integration and increase the impact of FAW.

Climate Change and Environment

To achieve faster and more thorough FAW knowledge transfer across Europe, the human and know-how potential in EU Enlargement Countries (ECs) and Candidate Countries (CCs) needs to be maximised. To help achieve this, the EU-funded 'Animal welfare research in an enlarged Europe' (AWARE) project set up networks of scientists, lecturers and students across Europe, in addition to a stakeholder network engaged in FAW knowledge transfer and implementation. Project work began with the mapping of FAW science, education and stakeholder involvement in Europe. This included existing research, disparities and weaknesses in university education, training and legislation, as well as various stakeholder activities. The mapping activity helped to identify awareness, knowledge and gaps. Road shows were organised to generate interest in FAW research and education, while workshops and symposia were held to stimulate and foster collaboration and development of research themes and programmes. Workshops on developing FAW research education were also organised to promote collaboration between university lecturers across Europe. Awareness raising activities were carried out in ECs and CCs targeting veterinarians, producers and consumers. Additionally, partnership agreements have been established between universities with similar research and teaching profiles. FAW research capacity was boosted through the exchange of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers within the European Research Area (ERA). Additional workshops were held to enhance skills in networking, proposal writing, and management and administration of EU projects for researchers. Lastly, the project partners proposed strategies to facilitate even more awareness and to better implement European FAW policies. AWARE emphasised the need for EU-wide collaboration to balance research, training, policymaking and overall standards in FAW. Society will benefit from safer and higher quality food as a result.

Keywords

Farm animal welfare, knowledge transfer, animal welfare research, food

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