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THE UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has funded a new Animal Welfare Research Network (AWRN) to bring together animal welfare researchers, those working in related fields and other professionals with an interest in animal welfare, including representatives from industry, charities and government. The core aims of the AWRN are to foster enhanced collaboration within the UK animal welfare research community and other relevant disciplines to: facilitate mentoring and training for early career researchers; seek new ways of supporting welfare researchers at all career stages; encourage interaction between researchers and stakeholders to identify gaps and opportunities for joint-working; and promote the impact of research outcomes. Over £100,000 has been provided by BBSRC to fund the AWRN for three years in the first instance, and it will be managed by a coordinating group of animal welfare researchers led by Professor Michael Mendl from Bristol university.
Animal welfare is of high societal importance. In an EU survey, 34 per cent of approximately 29,000 citizens rated the protection of welfare in farmed animals as being of the highest importance. Within the UK this proportion was 38 per cent (EU 2007). Britain has …