A high-impact centre dedicated to the advancement of animal welfare science.

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About us

The Centre for Animal Welfare is an interdisciplinary centre that undertakes research, teaching and public engagement in the field of animal welfare.

Animal welfare is a broad term. It includes the subfields of animal welfare science, animal ethics, and animal law and policy. Animal welfare science involves using scientific methods (particularly physiological and behavioural indicators) to assess animals' welfare states in various settings. The knowledge so derived informs ethical analysis and in turn the evolution of animal law and policy.

CAW provides a collaborative hub for academics and academic organisations interested in animal welfare issues. In addition to traditional research and knowledge dissemination through academic publications, presentations and educational programmes, we also seek to engage with wider society, particularly through our seminar series on important or interesting animal welfare issues. Through such engagement we aim to increase knowledge and understanding about animal welfare and animal use practices within society at large.

CAW is based in the Department of Politics and Society in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. It has partnerships with Compassion in World FarmingInternational Fund for Animal Welfare and through CAW, the University is a signatory to the CreatureKind commitment.

CAW recent news in brief

August 2018

Professor David Clough, CAW Visiting Professor and Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chester, has been awarded funding for a ground-breaking three-year project on the Christian ethics of farmed animal welfare. Read on.

July 2018

Congratulations to CAW research student Madelaine Leitsberger, who has passed her PhD viva with no corrections. Her thesis is titled 'Unleashing the synergisms of animal ethics to advance animal protection'. Madelaine's PhD is the first completion in our series of 175 Studentships, fully funded studentships to celebrate the University's 175th anniversary. Find out more about research degrees at Winchester and our studentship opportunities.

Last month, Prof. Knight’s report Uncaging New Zealand’s Sows: Scrutinising Farrowing Crates was published by SAFE, a leading New Zealand animal advocacy organisation. It documents the plight experienced by around 15,000 New Zealand sows annually, who are confined within metal cages barely larger than their own bodies, in a practice claimed to decrease piglet mortality. The report was delivered to NZ’s Primary Production Select Committee along with SAFE’s own submission. The Committee is reviewing a 112,844-signature petition (the largest in 5 years), delivered to Parliament in March, which requested a ban on sow farrowing crates. See also the related media release, fact sheet and more.

June 2018

CAW research into vegetarian companion animal diets featured prominently in Images of Research, an exhibition celebrating the breadth and impact of research carried out at the University of Winchester. The exhibition was displayed throughout June in the Winchester Discovery Centre, in the heart of the community, and attracted many visitors. Find out more about Images of Research.

May 2018

In May 2018, Prof. Knight was interviewed for a forthcoming cinematic feature documentary called ‘Eating our Way to Extinction’, which looks at the great need for a global shift towards a plant-based diet. The film’s pre-production trailers on Facebook have been viewed over 43 million times and the production's release to a global audience is planned for 2019. "I am excited about this film", commented Prof. Knight. "And about the enormous number of people it will reach, and the good it will do concerning this extremely important topic."

Also in May, he was interviewed for a forthcoming virtual ‘plant-powered dog food summit’. Prof. Knight is a specialist in vegetarian diets for companion animals; the article 'Vegetarian versus meat-based diets for companion animals', co-written with Madelaine Leitsberger, was the most viewed and downloaded article in the journal Animals for 2016. Extending his research to vegan diets, he recently published 'How to safely veganise your cat or dog' in Green for Life.

In late May, Prof. Knight was one of the signatories of a letter signed by 50 experts calling on the UK government to ban fur imports post-Brexit.

For major news releases, see our Latest News section below or visit the News and Events section and filter for 'animal welfare'.

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We still have places and guaranteed accommodation this September.
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