We encourage conscientious debate and provide a platform for conversations on animal welfare issues

The AWF Discussion Forum

The AWF Discussion Forum is an annual event that brings together expert speakers, veterinary and animal welfare professionals, students and parliamentarians to confront current welfare issues and inspire change.

We held the first animal welfare conference for the veterinary profession in 1984 in London, entitled “Priorities in animal welfare” and introduced by David Bellamy. This was the forerunner of our yearly flagship event, the AWF Discussion Forum, a unique event entirely dedicated to animal welfare, providing a platform for the veterinary and animal welfare community to discuss and debate topical, cross species animal welfare issues. The event has been the springboard for engaging the veterinary profession with contentious issues, such as overtreatment, welfare in equine sport and understanding the link between domestic abuse and animal abuse, as well as influencing policy on animal welfare.

The programme is carefully designed to appeal to a wide range of delegates who are encouraged to engage fully in the discussions which form an integral part of each session. The day is CPD accredited and offers great networking opportunities.


  1. “The AWF Discussion Forum just gets better year on year. It's highly valued by all, not only for the discussion, but the conversations that take place in the margins.”

    John Blackwell, Veterinary Surgeon
  2. “I was most impressed by the way all views were welcomed to the debate and the need to find common ground to make progress.”

    2023 student delegate
  3. “It's bar far the best event I attend, both for quality of content and networking.”

    2023 delegate

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  1. Meet our student researchers: Laura Simons

    … Laura Simons is a third-year student in Veterinary Sciences at Bristol Veterinary School. Laura chose to focus her AWF-funded research project on veterinary professionals’ confidence and capability to identify […]
  2. Meet the speaker: Meghan Barrett

    … Meghan Barrett is assistant Professor of Biology at Indiana University Indianapolis & Director at the Insect Welfare Research Society. She researches insect neurobiology, thermal adaptations, and the welfare of […]
  3. Meet the speaker: Jo Hockenhull

    … Jo Hockenhull is an animal welfare researcher with a particular focus on the influence of human perceptions and attitudes on decision-making and welfare. She currently is Head of Research […]
  4. April is National Pet Month!

    As we celebrate #NationalPetMonth, AWF’s team shares facts about their beloved furry (and sometimes feathery!) companions, as well as some welfare advice. You will find below some key facts and […]
  5. Health and welfare over looks

    Extreme conformation refers to breeding practices that result in exaggerated physical traits in animals, often at the expense of their health and welfare. … Nearly 40% of veterinary professionals in […]
  6. AWF presents at BVA Council

    … This morning at BVA Council, AWF Chair of Trustees Julian Kupfer presented one of the most innovative and significant research projects funded by AWF. The research project, called “Pandemic […]
  7. 3 common mistakes when applying to an AWF student grant

    Since launching the Student Grant Scheme in 2016, AWF has invested over £75,000 in student research projects, from exploring imported rescue dogs’ health and behaviour issues to investigating the impact […]
  8. Meet our student researchers: Victoria McCulloch

      … Although not a student anymore, Victoria McCulloch benefited from the AWF Student Grant Scheme back in 2017 when she was studying veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh. […]
  9. 3 reasons to become an AWF student grant supervisor

    Our 2024 Student Grant Scheme, which aims to give students in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing, animal welfare studies, agricultural sciences, zoology or social sciences the opportunity to develop their research […]
  10. “Is calf welfare good enough?”

    On Thursday 19th October, AWF hosted a though-provoking debate on calf welfare at BCVA Congress as part of a new initiative, the “BCVA Forum”. Despite notable progress in calf welfare, […]