Three themes - one research environment

Last changed: 15 November 2023

Research environment - picture

The research environment has six goals, and consists of three interconnected research themes (click to enlarge the picture), which develop three separate but linked lines of original research:

Research on understanding positive welfare. This theme focuses on a relatively new area of positive animal welfare research; in particular the assessment and physiological correlates of positive emotional states in animals. This provides new tools for understanding welfare aspects which contribute to improved quality of life in animals, and increased sustainability of farming practices. 

Research on understanding negative welfare. This theme focuses on negative welfare states, in particular the links between early experience, stress, behavioural problems and genetics. Interconnecting the areas of positive and negative welfare contribute towards reducing negative welfare in farm animals and promoting positive, developing reliable and practical indicators of both aspects of animal welfare. 

Animal welfare policy. This theme focuses on how indicators of animal welfare, both already existing indicators or new ones developed through our research, can be used in the development of animal welfare policy. This requires a broad modelling approach based on animals’ quality of life over their whole lifetime, but also an ethical analysis of animal welfare demands in relation to attitudes in society. Here we refer to control mechanisms by authorities to enforce current legislation, but also to policies by companies and other organisations to enhance animal welfare, such as high quality food labels or as part of corporate social responsibility policies. Systematically evaluating the consequences of existing and planned policies is crucial, and especially valid in view of the transfer of the official Swedish animal welfare control from the municipality level to the county administrative boards, and the company based internal control systems being developed as a consequence of new EU food and feed regulations. Ensuring a harmonised approach to improving animal welfare using science based indicators is also a keystone in EU animal welfare policy. 

The work in the research environment connect to other ongoing work in the respective groups and provides a dynamic forum for training young researchers in animal welfare science. In collaboration with the Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare (SCAW), the research carried out by the Centre of Excellence in Animal Welfare contributes further to enhancing Sweden’s reputation as a leading nation in animal welfare.


Centre of Excellence in Animal Welfare Science

Telephone: 018-671622