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Welfare of managed animals (including livestock and companion animals)


To encourage fundamental research that seeks to understand and promote the welfare of managed animals in the UK including farmed, laboratory, companion and zoo animals Researchers, whose focus of research may not be welfare, are also encouraged to look for opportunities within their proposed programmes of research to improve the welfare of managed animal.

Scientific scope

BBSRC supports research involving the use of animals and is committed to ensuring high standards of welfare for all managed animals (including farmed, laboratory, companion and zoo). Research in a variety of fields can contribute the aim of this proposal; to fit within this priority, applications should state clearly the likely benefits of the research for animal welfare.

Research under this priority should seek to increase our knowledge of:

  • The basic behavioural, neurobiological, immune, metabolic, physiological and tissue responses of animals to their environmental conditions
  • The consequences of human intervention, genetic selection and management for the normal function of animals
  • The incidence and alleviation disease, pain and mental disorders

Areas within the priority include:

  • Measures of welfare, including developing and validating new measures
  • Welfare related health/disease
  • Housing, husbandry and environmental impacts on welfare
  • Relevant behaviour, cognition and perception
  • Pain and nociception
  • The impact of early life challenges on development and long term health and welfare
  • The influence of production traits on animal welfare.

Outputs and impacts

Research will inform strategies for improving the conditions and management of farmed, laboratory, companion, zoo, and other managed animals, with particular reference to the current situation in the UK.

Pathways to impact

Applicants should demonstrate awareness of, and the potential to inform policy and societal implications. BBSRC recognises the importance of multidisciplinary collaborations, partnerships and end user support in this area. The priority promotes basic research, but also encourages translation to practical applications and applicants should outline their approach in terms of collaborations and engagement with end users.

Ethical and other issues

Applicants are expected to adhere to the general principles and best practice outlined in the Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research guidance (see related links), and the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines (see external links).