LIFT: Lifting farm animal lives – laying the foundations for positive animal welfare
‘LIFT’ is a 4-year EU-funded COST Action project which will provide the background for including positive welfare in farm animal welfare assessment. The Action started in November 2022 and will continue to November 2026. Currently, the Action has more than 200 participants from over 38 different countries.
The traditional approach to animal welfare was to prevent animal suffering. Consequently, there is a large bias in the science of animal welfare towards the study of negative experiences. Recent scientific advances consider animal’s positive experiences, also referred to as positive welfare, which is more in line with consumer and citizen expectations of how food is produced. There is currently no agreement among researchers on what constitutes positive animal welfare, or what kinds of techniques, tests and procedures are sound methodologies to assess positive experiences in farm animals.
The COST Action will progress this research area in a multidisciplinary scientific approach by cross-discipline knowledge sharing, training and Europe-wide collaboration to lay the foundations for this growing research area.
Stakeholders responsible for welfare assurance schemes, coming from industry, government and NGOs, as well as veterinary organisations and advisory bodies for farmers, are involved in the project to ensure practical feasibility and to improve the animal production sector’s sustainability.