Information on the doctoral program Animal Welfare in Intensive Livestock Production Systems

The interdisciplinary doctoral program Animal Welfare in Intensive Livestock Production Systems focuses on research related to the welfare of livestock. The first round of the program which began in October 2013 and will end in September 2016 has concentrated on an extensive analysis of the expanding and increasingly intensified animal husbandry systems in Lower Saxony at the interface between animal welfare, economics and society. In the program, 15 scholarship holders as well as 8 associated Ph.D students from diversified backgrounds participated, i.e. livestock science, veterinary medicine, agricultural economics, philosophy, and law (you find more information via the following link. Some of the already published contributions from the first round may be retrieved here. Besides, a scientific conference with about 200 participants was organized in Göttingen in October 2015. More information can be found via the following link.

The second round of the program which includes 15 scholarships will start in October 2016. It will focus on the necessary transformation processes within intensive animal husbandry. In a first step, current challenges concerning animal welfare in livestock farming - an important sector of the food industry in Lower Saxony that has greatly lost social acceptance in recent years - will be explored. Based on this analysis, new issues and innovative approaches dealing with an extensive strategic redirection of livestock farming will be addressed.
As the considered problem areas are characterized by multi-factorial causes, the interaction between various research disciplines at the interface between ethology, animal health, ecology, economy and ethics is required. Therefore, the program builds on an interdisciplinary perspective.

The doctoral program is funded by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Research and Culture. Participating Institutions are the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, the University of Vechta, the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück as well as the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

Prof. Dr. Achim Spiller (Sprecher)
Prof. Dr. Oliver Mußhoff
Prof. Dr. Martina Gerken
Prof. Dr. Ludwig Theuvsen
Prof. Dr. Holmer Steinfath
Prof. Dr. Kilian Bizer
Prof. Dr. José Martinez


Prof. Dr. Nicole Kemper
Prof. Dr. Peter Kunzmann


Prof. Dr. Christine Tamásy
Prof. Dr. Martin Schweer


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Enneking
Prof. Dr. Guido Recke
Prof. Dr. Robby Andersson