AWRN Workshop on Machine/Human/Animal Interactions

Date: 26/04/2023

Harper Adams University, UK





Workshop Title

Understanding the impact of human/animal and machine/animal interactions on animal welfare.


Date and Location

The workshop is taking place on Wednesday 26th April at Harper Adams University, just outside Newport in Shropshire, England.  You can find details of how to get there on the Harper Adams website: Link to Travel Information


Aims of Workshop

The aim of this workshop to bring together researchers across a range of disciplines and sectors (including farm, zoo and companion animal) to foster collaborative approaches to better understand the animal welfare implications of human-animal and machine-animal interactions. Human-animal interactions (HAIs) are increasingly being recognised as important for animal welfare and unique dyads may form between caregivers and animals. These HAIs can be positive, negative or neutral, with positive HAIs bringing intrinsic rewards to animals. Research is needed to better understand whether indicators of positive HAIs are transferable across disciplines (e.g. farm-zoo-companion), and to understand the impact of automation (i.e. increased machine-animal interactions) on animal welfare.



The workshop will comprise presentations from industry experts, including Dr Christian Nawroth (Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)) and Dr Samantha J Ward (Nottingham Trent University), followed by round table multi-disciplinary discussions.

Key questions that will be explored during this workshop include:

What is a positive human-animal interaction?

What makes a HAI positive for animals?

How do we currently assess the impact of HAIs on animal experiences?

How can we assess HAIs using technology?

How will the replacement of people with machines (and the subsequent reduction in HAIs) impact animal welfare?


Opportunity for dinner and drinks (evening of 26 April)

An informal get-together is planned for the evening of the 26 April, after the AWRN workshop. You are very welcome to attend, payment will need to be made on the day but you must book with us (email us stating you wish to attend and letting us know of any dietary requirements). We will be eating at The Lamb Inn, Edgmond (just 10 minutes walk from Harper Adams University). Menu is available here: Link to Lamb Inn (vegan, veggie and gluten free options are available).


Accommodation suggestions

– Harper Adams University (please email for further information on this)

Premier Inn Newport/Telford

– If you are looking for other accommodation please make sure you specify Newport (Shropshire), otherwise you might end up in Wales!



Registration is now open for this event: Link to Registration 



A few travel and attendance bursaries are available. If you require assistance to attend the workshop then please email Ellen on with a brief rationale and overview of costings. 


Please note that this workshop will immediately be followed by the ISAE Regional Meeting which is also taking place at Harper Adams University on Thursday 27th April. 

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