AWRN Workshop on “Novel Minimally Invasive Tools to Investigate Animal Behaviour and Welfare”

Date: 21/01/2021





Thursday 21st January 2021  – Virtual event online


Please note that this event has sold out. 

Welfare assessment on laboratory animals remains challenged by our limited understanding of their natural behaviour in their experimental environment. Classically used behaviour tests include kinematic measures (assessment of movement), or kinetic measures (quantification of force produced) or memory / recognition test to a specific stimuli. Most of these methods remain biased towards assessing task driven responses and do not assess spontaneous behaviour. Furthermore, most of these tests involve momentarily isolation from its home-housing and/or social group and exposure to unfamiliar environment, with frequent handling / researcher interactive conditioning. Such approaches only allow for a “snap-shot” behaviour assessment, providing limited validity for the care and welfare of the animals. Moreover, such assessments are solely carried our during the working day hours which will mask the full extent of relevant behaviour changes.

Advances in automatic tracking of individual animal’s behaviour in their housed-environment are proving valid approaches to assess spontaneous and social behaviour in grouped animals. The objective of this workshop it to bring together experts in the field of automatic tracking behaviour, particularly working with different species and models, to discuss their success, including the benefits and challenges associated with their practical implementation, and how this can be applied to improve our care and welfare assessments.

The workshop will provide a discussion platform to share expertise on the practicalities for implementing these technologies, and how they can be used to maximize our care and welfare programs. In particular, we will be addressing how these tools can be utilized to assess and improve the care and welfare in different models/species, and therefore, how their use may also be fully targeted to refine current welfare assessments.

Please register using the link below if you would like to participate to this AWRN-funded workshop taking place online on 21/01/2021.

The proposed workshop provide an opportunity to organize a multidisciplinary approach between technologist and behaviour researchers, to explore further avenues to promote welfare in laboratory animals, along with better science. It may be a good opportunity to explore new collaboration networks between different disciplines and also allow AWRN members to explore the use of such technical modalities across different species.

For further information please contact: 



Thursday 21st January 2021

09:50am – 14:00pm GMT



9:50 Online Opening

9:55-10:00: Welcome and introduction Dr Jordi L. Tremoleda, Queen Mary University London and Dr Angela Kerton, The Learning Curve (Development) Ltd.

10:00-10:30: Zebrafish and automated behavioural analysis. Dr Lynne Sneddon. Senior Lecturer. Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences. University of Gothenburg

10:30-11:00: The impact of the “Rodent Big and Little Brother program”. Professor Douglas Armstrong. School of Informatics, Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation. University of Edinburgh.

11:00-11:30: The AutonoMouse- a “smart ” house for rodents. Professor Andreas Schaefer. Sensory Circuits and Neurotechnology Laboratory. The Francis Crick Institute, London.

11:30-12:00: The use of location monitoring and video technology to evaluate behaviour and welfare of dairy cows. Ms Alison Russel .School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham.

12:00- 13:00 BREAK

13:00- 13:10 Introduction to the discussion groups ( Laboratory rodents; Aquatics; Large Animal Groups) 

13:10-13:40 BREAKOUT GROUP sessions

Objectives: to set up a critical discussion on the application on these technologies from a practical implementation and addressing recommendations for animal handling, care and welfare, and also how to implement these in your experimental plans.

A questionnaire will be provided to the attendees beforehand to facilitate discussion and also all breakout groups will have an a facilitator and reporting delegate.

13:40-14:00 Summary & Closing remarks



This event is fully booked. 


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