What's new at AWSC!

  • Special Issue - ANIMALS

    Special Issue - ANIMALS

    The journal "Animals" will publish a special issue next year on "Human influences on the behaviour and welfare of zoo animals". Paul Hemsworth is guest editor for the issue which aims to present recent research and reviews on the implications of human-zoo animal interactions on zoo animal behaviour and welfare, with the aim of stimulating interest, understanding and exploration of this important subject. Further details - click HERE




  • New Director of AWSC

    New Director of AWSC

    The Board of the Animal Welfare Science Centre (AWSC) is pleased to announce that Professor Andrew Fisher has accepted its invitation to become Director of the AWSC and is confident that the AWSC will continue to thrive and grow in esteem as Andrew drives the Centre's RD&E activities over the next period.

    Former AWSC Director Professor Paul Hemsworth will maintain his research and teaching contributions within the AWSC and said that the Centre “will benefit from a new pair of hands at the wheel". As Director of the Centre since its inception in 1997, Paul has been responsible for leading and coordinating the overall allocated academic and research resources of the partner organizations in the Centre. Paul has a long academic track record with over 450 publications. He is in the top 1 per cent of scientists for individual impact in Plant and Animal Science according to Web of Science.

    The AWSC Board recognises Prof Hemsworth’s significant contribution to the Centre and said he leaves “huge shoes to fill,” but noted that Andrew is a fitting successor who brings decades of international experience in animal welfare and research leadership to the role.

    For full details, please see link below

    Director PR



  • Animal welfare gets a boost from SA partnership

    Animal welfare gets a boost from SA partnership

    Animal welfare policy has had a big boost to its evidence base, with two South Australian research partners joining the Animal Welfare Science Centre (AWSC) to make the Centre one of the world’s largest animal welfare focused research groups.

    The Centre’s expertise in sustainable livestock production has been enhanced with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and the University of Adelaide joining existing AWSC partners the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, the University of Melbourne and Ohio State University.

    The AWSC is one of the world's major players when it comes to animal welfare science and aims to improve standards across government, industry, community and academic sectors.

    The collaboration is set to add new depth to the AWSC's scientific resources and research infrastructure, particularly in the key areas of animal behaviour and stress physiology.

    The Centre’s partner organisations will build on existing strong collaborations to deliver high quality, relevant research outcomes across the livestock, companion animal and zoo animal sectors.

    AWSC Co-Director and University of Melbourne researcher Professor Paul Hemsworth said the South Australian partners were a "great fit" for the organisation.

    “The South Australian partners bring key scientific expertise together to greatly enhance the centre’s research capability across all sectors,” Professor Hemsworth said.

    Dr Greg Harper, Executive Director of Agriculture Research and Development at DEDJTR, and current chairman of the AWSC, noted that awareness of animal welfare is growing in society, “so the need for broad research and education capabilities is also growing.”

    “Rigorous research like that provided by the AWSC is vital if we’re to ensure animal welfare policies don’t just make us feel better about animal treatment, but genuinely benefit the animals we live and work with,” Dr Harper added.

    “Expanding the Animal Welfare Science Centre to bring in key research from South Australia means the public and industry will now get world-class evidence-based advice on animal welfare issues.”

    The Victoria-based partners will continue to research the effects of housing and husbandry on animal welfare, identify tools and benchmarks for welfare monitoring and build a better understanding of how community attitudes and behaviours affect animal welfare through changes in legislation, codes of practice and animal management.

    The South Australian partnership means access to their extensive facilities at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus, which allow for intensive physiological, behavioural and large-scale on-farm research.


    Photo courtesy Ag-Communicators


    Prof. Gavin Begg (Research Chief, SARDI Aquatic Sciences)

    Prof Frank Dunshea (Associate Dean - Research, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne)

    Dr Gregory Harper (Executive Director  Agriculture Research and Development, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) 

    Professor Phil Hynd (Deputy Head, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide)

  • Scientific commentary: animal abuse and cruelty in livestock production
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