Congress Charity

We’re delighted to be supporting the Animal Welfare Foundation as this year’s Congress charity.

BVA’s non-campaigning charity, the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF), has been putting animal welfare at the heart of veterinary science for the past 40 years, helping animals in the UK enjoy a better life through research, education and debate. AWF is a science-led, cross species charity which identifies and tackles animal welfare issues by funding ground-breaking research and leading impactful debates and conversations at all levels, always pushing for better and higher standards of animal welfare.  As a small charity we rely entirely on donations to support our work. Please visit our website to find out more: www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.

AWF was established in 1983 to directly support the veterinary profession, promote best practice and drive improvements in animal welfare. AWF’s aim is to deepen understanding of animal welfare and inspire evidence-based actions so that all animals can enjoy a better life.

At AWF, we safeguard animal welfare through a multi-faceted approach:

Funding research

AWF funds innovative research to improve the health and welfare of animals. Since 1983, they’ve invested over 2.3 million in research projects which contributed to the knowledge and evidence-base on numerous topical animal welfare issues as well as informed government policies and legislation. These projects have also led to breakthrough diagnostics and treatments in many species, ranging from painful and contagious disease in cattle, sheep and horses, to pioneering pain management work for cats. AWF’s student research grants also provide a unique opportunity for students to develop their research skills and have a practical impact on animal welfare.

Encouraging conscientious debate


AWF provides a platform for conversations to advance knowledge and deepen understanding of animal welfare as well as influence and encourage the veterinary profession to put animal welfare left, right and centre of their practice. AWF flagship event, the Discussion Forum, is a unique cross-species event, debating a range of welfare issues and questions – past topics include the welfare of exotic animals, farm animals, designer dogs, welfare at slaughter, technology, and human behaviour change.

Supporting the next generation of animal welfare advocates


AWF established the first Chair in Animal Welfare in 1986 as well as lectureship on animal welfare at top UK Universities, making animal welfare an integral part of veterinary education. AWF now offers free student talks, aiming to educate and inspire students to become future leaders in animal welfare. AWF also creates evidence-based guidance on animal welfare for veterinary professionals to support them in their work.

Notable work:

The Puppy Contract
AWF and RSPCA developed The Puppy Contract to encourage those buying and breeding puppies to do so responsibly. This free toolkit contains information to guide and help buyers when buying a puppy. http://www.puppycontract.org.uk/

Recognising abuse in animals and humans
AWF has worked with The Links Group to create a comprehensive guidance booklet and a short leaflet to help veterinary teams recognise abuse in animals and humans and what to do to break the cycle of violence: https://www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/20160415-AWF-Recognising-abuse-in-animals-and-humans-v10-web-1.pdf

How to support AWF

As a small charity, AWF relies solely on donations to fund their work. Please help them tackle the top welfare issues faced by animals today through:

Partnerships: AWF works with other charities to amplify their impact on animal welfare while also partnering with businesses to raise funds and support their work.

Charity of the year: make AWF your Charity of the Year for one year or more and AWF will support fundraising, events and educational activities.

Fundraising: from baking and selling dog treats to running marathons, there’s something for everyone willing to raise funds in aid of AWF.

Donating: regular giving help to plan for the future. Set up a regular donation online and help AWF tackle the animal welfare issues of today and tomorrow.

Legacies: leaving AWF a gift in your Will is a powerful, long-lasting way to support their work and be remembered as an animal welfare advocate.