AWF began as the British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Trust in 1983. Our name may have changed but our commitment remains to improving the welfare of all animals through veterinary science, education and debate.
Much has improved in animal welfare practice and awareness since 1983, but we are constantly reminded of the continued need for our work, by examples of animal neglect, cruelty, avoidable illness and disease.
AWF was established with the proceeds of a generous legacy and over the years we would not have been able to continue our work without the support of many generous individuals. We also owe much of our success and achievements as a charity since 1983 to the many vets who have served as AWF trustees.
selected highlights from our first 30 years
- The creation of the Coleen Macleod Chair in Animal Welfare at Cambridge University in 1984. This was the first post of its kind in the world and our aim was to establish animal welfare as a recognised discipline of social and moral concern.
- In 1995 we established the Norman Hayward Fund to support research into the welfare and disease of horses, cattle and sheep. Over £1 million has since been awarded from this Fund. Read about our research
- In 2004 we created Animal Welfare Lectureships at Bristol, Glasgow and Liverpool Universities and the collaborative partnership between the three BVA Animal Welfare Foundation Lecturers produced a framework for animal welfare teaching in UK veterinary schools which runs through all five years of the undergraduate veterinary curriculum.
- Stimulating debate and influencing policy: Must the show go on? Livestock show welfare was just one of the topics debated at the Discussion Forum on 23 May 2013 when over 150 practising vets and associated industry experts got together to air their views and consider practical solutions to animal welfare issues. This annual flagship event has raised the profile of a variety of serious animal welfare issues and led both to new research and the development of policies.
- We have published a range of informative and accessible guides for pet owners which have been welcomed by veterinary surgeries across the UK as they have helped both to safeguard pets, and save vets time into the bargain. See more of our resources