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Animal Well-Being

NIFA program funds research, education, and extension projects that develop the scientific evidence to promote the balance between production systems, management practices, welfare indicators, and the behavioral and physiological well-being of agricultural animals.

Evaluating farm animal well-being is essential to the food animal industry and scientific communities. Scientists seek to understand how to best measure well-being in animals used in the agricultural sector for food, fiber, research, and experimentation and to improve methods of enhancing their comfort and well-being. For example, scientists may study animals in different environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, duration of daylight, bedding, size and shape of living quarters, or the number of other animals sharing an environment.

They may also investigate how animals react both behaviorally and biologically to stressful situations--such as in transport or when animals must be constrained. This understanding is important whether working with animals as pets, livestock, or wildlife to ensure their safety and well-being, as well as that of their human caretakers.

NIFA Hatch and Animal Health Formula Funds

The following species names link to pages that contain select active awards funded by either NIFA Hatch or Animal Health Formula Funds:

Stakeholder Webinars

In Fall 2016, NIFA and the USDA Agricultural Research Service will host a series of webinars on Animal Health to solicit stakeholder input on research, education and extension priorities. Animal Well-Being is included in the series as a cross-cutting topic. 

Stakeholder input on animal well-being was also collected during a series of webinars on Animal Production hosted by NIFA and ARS in May 2016. This information is currently being analyzed and a summary will be posted on this page at a later date.


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