University Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter and Cindy Milburn, the charity's Director of Outreach and Policy Development, have signed a formal agreement which sets out the partners' joint commitment to working together on animal welfare issues.
The agreement includes plans for IFAW - which works to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals throughout the world - to give guest lectures at the University about animal welfare in action within the animal welfare/conservation sector, and to offer work placements and volunteering opportunities to students studying at Winchester. Both organisations will also work closely on research to fill gaps in understanding about current and future animal welfare issues.
Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with the International Fund for Animal Welfare to further the work of our Centre for Animal Welfare. As a University, we are driven by a deep commitment to value all life, nurturing compassion for people, animals and the planet. We care about the world around us, so our teaching and research tackles global challenges and we strive to ensure our students go onto make a real difference in the world. Animal welfare is an increasingly important concern in our society and with this partnership we hope to make an even bigger impact in tackling animal welfare issues globally."
Cindy Milburn, Director of Outreach and Policy Development at IFAW, said: "IFAW is very pleased to embark on this new partnership which we are sure will bring great results in the future for animals. We look forward to a fruitful relationship with the University of Winchester and are excited at the prospect of enabling the next generation of animal welfare specialists through our joint work."
As understanding of animals' sentience, social and communicative characteristics increases, so does public interest in and concern for animal welfare.
The University of Winchester has already demonstrated its commitment to contributing to the advancement of animal welfare with the launch of its ground-breaking Centre for Animal Welfare in May 2016.
The Centre embodies the values of compassion and social justice, which are at the heart of the University's mission, and undertakes education, research and public engagement in animal welfare and related fields. It is led by Professor Andrew Knight, a renowned European and American veterinary specialist in animal welfare with a long track record of practising veterinary medicine.
On 2 November, the Centre for Animal Welfare is hosting a symposium on animal welfare and religion which will explore the viewpoints of various major religions concerning animals and their welfare.
Winchester also offers an undergraduate course in Animal Welfare and Society and a Masters in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law.
In 2015, the University cemented its links with global farm animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming with a strategic partnership which is strengthening academic bonds between the two institutions.