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General presentation

Faced with growing societal expectations in terms of animal welfare, it seems necessary to improve the living and slaughter conditions of farm animals. This improvement calls for an increased involvement and mobilization of all actors, farmers and professionals in daily contact with animals, veterinarians, veterinary public health inspection services, the food industry, scientists and animal protection associations. It requires the production of increasingly precise scientific knowledge and the transfer of this knowledge, the improvement of the dialogue between these actors as well as a better training of professionals and better information of civil society.

With this in mind and in accordance with France’s Strategy for Animal Welfare (2016-2020), VetAgro Sup’s Chaire bien-être animal was created in 2018. It works in close collaboration with the Centre National de Référence (CNR) for animal welfare, whose missions are focused on scientific expertise and research coordination.

Missions and actions

The missions of the Chaire bien-être animal are to contribute to:

  • The production and transfer of scientific knowledge: thanks to its team of teacher-researchers and young scientists, the Chaire bien-être animal conducts research projects (on the welfare of dairy cows on pasture, on the impact of reproductive biotechnologies on cattle welfare, etc.), publishes scientific articles and conducts expert assessments (evaluation and monitoring of pilot farms, livestock pain assessment, evaluation of animal welfare during animal contests, etc.).
  • Training and creation of training tools: the Chaire bien-être animal develops and offers face-to-face and distance learning courses for professionals in the field of animal welfare (« Animal welfare: understanding, evaluating, improving, dialoguing », « Dehorning efficiently, easily and painlessly », « Medical training for equines »…). The Chaire bien-être animal also trains and informs the general public about animal welfare issues through its MOOCs, its periodic #RendezvousBEA on social networks and its press reviews on societal issues.
  • To promote exchanges in order to raise awareness among animal welfare stakeholders: the Chaire bien-être animal holds conferences and participates in meetings involving various animal welfare stakeholders in order to promote dialogue and exchanges among them and improve breeding practices.

Animal welfare is a major societal issue. Animal husbandry practices must be continuously improved for the benefit of animals, farmers and society. But these improvements must be approached scientifically, objectively and pragmatically…. which includes the dissemination of reliable and quality information to the general public as well as training for key animal welfare actors 

Luc Mournier, professor at VetAgro Sup and head of the Chaire bien-être animal