Prioritising Animal Welfare Issues


As a small charity, AWF wishes to focus its limited research funds on areas where the welfare need is greatest and where there is a deficit of good science. To do so we need to be able to prioritise welfare issues relevant to the UK.  

Much of the research funded by AWF is high value work generated by veterinary scientists with an interest in a specific issue. However, until now AWF has funded projects based on the value of the proposed outcome rather than in depth evaluation of the wider improvement in welfare that might be generated.


AWF is funding a new project to achieve a prioritised list of issues affecting the welfare of managed animals in the UK. The results will help guide our future work and will be available for other organisations to consult.

All too often issues are prioritised on the ability to engage the general public rather than considering whether the issue severely affects considerable numbers of animals for protracted periods. The research takes the form of a Delphi project that will evaluate of issues by considering the severity of the problem, the numbers affected by it and the duration of the suffering caused.

The research is led by Professor Cathy Dwyer, Director of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.  More information on the team and the project can be found on their website: