Bristol Vet School’s Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group ranked best in the world

Bristol University Veterinary School’s Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group has been ranked the most successful of its kind in the last 50 years, in the world – with new research demonstrating that it’s the most widely published and highly cited in the field of animal welfare (Freire and Nicol 2019).

“We have a long history of producing outstanding research that leads not only to a better understanding of animal lives but also to improvements in their welfare. The Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group currently has around 50 researchers working at the cutting edge of areas from animal emotion to practical welfare assessment across a range of species in companion, farm, laboratory and wild settings. As societal concern for animal welfare grows, our work is increasingly valuable in helping individuals and policy makers deliver improved animal welfare in line with their values.”

Professor Michael Mendl , Research Group Lead

The Bristol Vet School is home to the CIEL co-funded Poultry Research Farm, enabling research into bird behaviour and welfare for any poultry species. This capability bridges the gap between commercial systems and small experimental units, combining industry-standard housing for broilers and layers, with state-of-the-art poultry monitoring (visual & audio).

The facility extends the University’s capability for collaborative work on housing design, injurious pecking, red mite, rearing systems, bone biology and welfare assessment to develop innovative ways to optimise egg quality or meat production through improved health and welfare.

Find out more about the Poultry Research farm by watching the video.

Using an integrated approach, the group’s research covers topics within Bristol Veterinary School’s Population Health and Global Food Security themes, as well as other areas including Biology, Social Science, Psychology, and Neuroscience. These include fundamental studies of behaviour, cognition, emotion and development and validation of animal welfare assessment methodologies, as well as identifying and quantifying welfare problems and their causes in farm, laboratory, companion and working animals and then implementing research-based solutions in the world.