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Science in the Service of Animal Welfare – UFAW Symposium 2019

The deadline for abstracts for the UFAW International Animal Welfare Symposium 2019 has been extended to 7th December.

Animal welfare science advances are needed to inform decisions on the care and legal protection provided for animals. This two-day international symposium will explore two major themes:

  • Developments in animal welfare science that are likely to extend our understanding of animals’ needs or how to assess animal welfare or sentience. This symposium will provide an opportunity to present on new and exciting developments in animal welfare science methodologies and new findings that will inform animal welfare care or use.
  • While the primary ethical case for being concerned about animal welfare is the presumption that some animal species have feelings and that those feelings matter to them, benefits to humans are often put forward as reasons for improving animal welfare. Examples include an improved product for farmed animals, better models for animals used in research or animals more likely to survive and breed successfully if released into the wild for the zoo community. However, it is also the case that animal welfare and human goals and interests are not always linked.

Time: 3rd-4th July 2019

Place: Site Oud Sint-Jan, Bruges, Belgium


With the above themes in mind, the purpose of this symposium is to:

  • Learn about new and exciting innovations and methodologies in animal welfare research and arising from research into sentience in animals.
  • Explore and test the extent of the idea that human and animal interests go hand in hand with improved welfare.
  • Investigate areas of animal use where there are particular challenges to improving animal welfare.
  • Identify new methodologies, approaches and technologies to improve animal welfare that have or could be used to address these challenges.

By considering whether and how animal welfare science can be used to make progress in these and other areas, the aim for the symposium is to develop and raise awareness of new ideas and to promote higher quality and better-focused animal welfare science.

The symposium will feature keynote presentations addressing the following concerns:

Professor Linda Keeling (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden) Advances in technology to monitor animal welfare on the farm

Dr Joseph Garner (Stanford University, USA) Good science, good welfare. How understanding animals used in research helps us

Dr Hans van de Vis (Wageningen Livestock Research, The Netherlands) Challenges associated with assessing and improving the welfare of farmed fish

Symposium timetable

Deadline for submission of abstracts – NOW EXTENDED 7th December 2018
Notification of decision of judging panel on submitted abstracts – by 1st February 2019
End of early registration fee – 1st March 2019
Deadline for receipt of amendments to accepted abstracts – 17th May 2019
Start of symposium 3rd July 2019

The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) is an independent registered charity that works with the animal welfare science community worldwide to develop and promote improvements in the welfare of animals through scientific and educational activity.

UFAW has long promoted and supported a scientific approach aimed at finding ways to gain insight into what matters to animals, assessing their welfare and improving the quality of their lives through practical developments in all aspects of their care.

Further details on the symposium, including a registration form, formatting of abstracts and booking accommodation in Bruges can be found on the UFAW website: