Endemic and production diseases as well as climate change effects pose a threat to farmed animals such as fish, bees and livestock. The project ANIHWA (Animal health and welfare) was initiated to address this issue, extending the knowledge and experience provided by the project ERA-NET EMIDA. Comprising 31 partner organisations from 19 countries, the project consortium included most of the EU's leading national research funding agencies for animal health and animal welfare. ANIHWA took several actions to facilitate its ultimate goal of enhanced research cooperation and coordination between national research programmes. It launched a website and set up an Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB). Research cooperation was implemented with European networks and organisations with similar interests and various government institutions (EU and international) were engaged as observers. Beyond information sharing and the mapping and analysis of current research activities and facilities, comprehensive databases were developed as were web-based tools to analyse situations and trends. The team performed a gap analysis on animal health and animal welfare research, and identified new research needs and research opportunities. The information and knowledge generated were applied in work targeting the implementation of a range of transnational activities. Project members developed strategic research agendas based on shared priorities as well as instruments and mechanisms for initiating and delivering joint research calls. Three major calls have already been published; the first saw the approval of 10 projects with a budget totalling EUR 11.4 million. Partners organised a workshop to increase cooperation between potential animal welfare funding agencies and ministries. They also produced the "Report on the mapped and analysed data and information from national programmes on animal welfare". ANIHWA took steps to ensure the sustainability of a stand-alone network infrastructure, incorporating EMIDA and ANIHWA, beyond the project's duration. Related actions involve collaboration with the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research Collaborative Working Groupon Animal Health and Welfare. Through its work to create a sustainable European network of mutually accessible and complementary research programmes, project work and successes will help to address critical animal health and welfare issues.
Animal health, animal welfare, diseases, farmed animals, ANIHWA