Driving Animal Welfare Education
Concerns about animal welfare in food production are forcing food retailers to set high levels of animal welfare standards throughout their poultry and meat supply chain.
In response to these concerns, Benchmark Sustainability Science teamed up with the University of Oxford in 2009 to develop a master’s level training programme in animal welfare and livestock production. The course provides high-quality, flexible learning for those involved with the meat and livestock industry, including producers, processors, retailers, caterers, NGOs and anyone with an interest in the future of animal farming.
The programme is designed help UK food producers, retailers and food outlets to meet the changing demands of their customers and ensure they are at the forefront of high-quality food delivery.
Courseware is delivered using distance learning, direct teaching and commercially relevant project-based work, all of which is designed to accommodate participants’ working lives. "We recognise that it is difficult to justify leaving the office to attend residential courses, so we are offering these industrially-oriented, master's-level courses as a series of one-day courses, supplemented by online support," says Professor Marian Stamp Dawkins, Head of the Animal Behaviour Research Group, University of Oxford.
The programme was developed with grants provided through the UK government's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC) Modular Training for Industry (MTI) programme. This joint initiative involves the Animal Behaviour Research Group, the FAI and the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Centre.