Funding research for better welfare


Supporting scientific research into key animal welfare issues has been the cornerstone of AWF’s work for the last 15 years.  We have funded research into the health and welfare of farmed and companion animals and supported the next generation of researchers through our student grant funding.  The data and knowledge gained from this research has been invaluable in building an evidence base for a large range of welfare issues, in particular those seen by veterinarians.
As lockdown took hold, we felt it was important that we didn't let this stop us continuing our work.  A call for desk-based research resulted in an unprecedented response and we were impressed with the high calibre of applicants and excellent projects that were submitted. As a result, we have decided to fund five new research projects which will take place over the next 6 months, hopefully leading to new insights and evidence which could inform future studies and lead to effective practices to improve the welfare of the animals concerned.
Two of the projects will investigate the issue of delayed euthanasia, which was highlighted by our Delphi research into priority welfare issues.
There has been great concern at how the current pandemic is affecting animals, which inspired many of the applications we received.  We are delighted to be supporting two projects to gather evidence on how the lockdown has impacted our nation’s pet dogs: one, called 'Pandemic Puppies', on the recent spike in puppy sales and one looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected owners’ veterinary healthcare seeking behaviour for chronic conditions.
The last project will investigate the welfare impacts of different rat control methods, with the aim of leading to better informed management decisions in the future.  AWF chose to fund this well-designed project because of its potential to affect the welfare of millions of animals.  Wild rodent control was also an issue highlighted by the Delphi project and has been a concern for veterinary professionals.
We rely solely on donations to fund all our work and it is only thanks to the generosity of our donors that we are in a position to fund such valuable research.  If you’d like to support our future grant funding, you can find out about how to support us here:
You can find out more about our research by visiting our Grants Awarded pages to read final reports and papers.