Qualitative Behaviour Assessment: An animal welfare assessment tool used worldwide

Impact: Societal

Description of impact

Underpinning Research:

We developed and validated Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA), a tool for the interpretation and analysis of emotional expressivity and welfare in animals.

Significance and Reach of Impact:

QBA has been incorporated into a mandatory protocol by the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (2019) and into recommended EU animal welfare assessment protocols (2015) for farmed animals, which are routinely used by 390 certified assessors across Europe. QBA was adopted by Waitrose & Partners in 2020 as the designated indicator for animal emotional well-being, and is being rolled out across Waitrose’s own brand cattle, pig, broiler, hen, and duck supply chains, encompassing 500 farms. The Donkey Sanctuary adopted QBA into its routine well-being assessments in 2015, and has since assessed over 27,400 donkeys worldwide, using the results to optimise management practices. Use of QBA since 2017 as part of a mandatory welfare assessment in all 15 UK zoos holding captive elephants has resulted in management improvements and improved behavioural scores.

A joint submission with the University of Edinburgh to REF2021.
Impact date20132020
Category of impactSocietal