Animal Welfare has a distinguished history and track record at the University of Winchester. For seven years, the successful Centre for Animal Welfare showcased our academics' and students' knowledge, skills and impact across multiple disciplines. Founded by Professor Andrew Knight, the Centre for Animal Welfare was established to push boundaries, be avant-garde and challenge the status quo of animal welfare. Out of the legacy of CAW has come a new and evolving research group, dedicated to the study of Animal Welfare, Behaviour, Ethics and Law (AWBEL).
AWBEL comprises a world-leading team of multidisciplinary specialists from natural sciences, psychology, forensic science and philosophy. We have particular expertise and research interests in the ethics and policy of animal protection, the impact of Brexit on animal protection, zoo welfare assessment, the health and environmental implications of pet food production, and the interplay between cognition, environmental enrichment, welfare and conservation.
Through our teaching, research, partnerships, public engagement and advocacy, we work tirelessly to advance the welfare of animals worldwide, from companion animals and farmed animals to zoo-housed and wild animals. Not only do we explore the interface between conservation biology and animal welfare via scientific investigation, we also lobby politicians and others to raise the status of animals in global human society, advocating respect for humans, animals and the planet alike.
Dr Steven McCulloch lobbying for an end to the use of pig farrowing crates - read Dr McCulloch's blog about the campaign
Postgraduate, taught and research
31 January 2024: Pampered poultry pets: new AWRG research shows domestic chicken owners see their animals as feathered friends not food producers
With a population estimated at five million, non-commercial chickens make up the third largest pet group in the UK after dogs and cats, but there has been limited research into their welfare or the care-taking practices and attitudes of their owners. In a new study published in the journal Animals, AWRG Associate Lecturer Jenny Mace and Prof. Andrew Knight have delved into these questions and found that the chicken really does come before the egg. Read the full press release.
AWBEL has partnerships with Compassion in World Farming and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and links with many others working in the animal welfare field. Through the group the University is a signatory to the CreatureKind commitment.
Our seminar series is one of several ways in which we seek to engage with wider society to increase knowledge and understanding about animal welfare and animal use practices. We have also organised symposia.
Meet the team
Dr Lisa Riley, Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and AWRG Lead
Dr Steven McCulloch, Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Studies
Dr Amoret Whitaker, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Studies
Dr Hazel Brown, Head of School of Sport, Health and Community
Prof. Andrew Knight, Visiting Lecturer in Animal Welfare
Dr Liam Satchell, Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Dr Adalinda Hernandez, Lecturer in Animal Welfare
Natalie Light, Associate Lecturer in Animal Welfare
Moira Harris, Visiting Lecturer in Animal Welfare
Kerry Hunt, Visiting Lecturer in Animal Welfare
James Brereton, Visiting Lecturer in Animal Welfare