The Animal Welfare Collaborative launched

4 December 2019

A national collaborative initiative focussed on improving animal welfare was officially launched by The University of Queensland’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Vice-President (Research) Professor Bronwyn Harch in Brisbane today (4 December 2019). 

Professor Bronwyn Harch, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Vice-President (Research) & Professor Alan Tilbrook 

The Animal Welfare Collaborative  (TAWC) is a society-wide network of people who care about animals and want to work together to improve their welfare, and the network is facilitated by a diverse team of experts at The University of Queensland (UQ), The University of Newcastle, The University of Western Australia and The University of Adelaide.

The Collaborative brings together Australian livestock industries, transporters and processors, working dog organisations, racing clubs, zoos and aquariums, veterinarians, state and federal governments, various universities with expertise in animal welfare, animal welfare and animal rights organisations, community groups and members of the public – all around the single goal of improving the welfare of animals.

"Funding and advancing the objectives of the Collaborative to achieve significant societal change is just another way our researchers are improving the lives of animals," Professor Harch said.

UQ's Professor Alan Tilbrook said the strength of the Collaborative is that it is led by Australian universities and thus provides non-partisan independence, credibility, and scientific rigour, allowing TAWC to lead initiatives with a clear focus on the animals.

Prior to the launch, over 100 people gathered for a forum called Animal Welfare Horizons o discuss how Australia should address animal welfare as a nation, and specifically ways in which enrichment for animals can be implemented in Australia over the short, medium and long term horizons.

Animal Welfare Horizons, Customs House, Brisbane, 4 December 2019. Photo: Cameron Neville.

Forum presentations included:

Why animal welfare will define Australia - Professor Donald Broom, The University of Cambridge.

Animal welfare in Australia: past & future - Andrew Spencer, Managing Director, Ancer Consulting and Chair, Australian Farm Institute

Good, clean, fair - the future of Australian food - Dr Noelene McBride & Dr Ian McBride, Slow Food Brisbane

The chef's dilemma - Simon Bryant, Dirt(y) Inc, and Simon Toohey, MasterChef Contestant

Human effects on their animals (negative and positive) - Professor Paul Hemsworth, The University of Melbourne.

Building enriched environments - Kerrie Haynes-Lovell, Delta Society.

Promoting positive experiences in animal welfare - Nicolas de Graaff, Zoo and Aquarium Association.

Friends with benefits - Dr Mia Cobb, Animal Welfare Science Centre and Working Dog Alliance 

The Animal Welfare Collaborative encourages all of society to contribute their ideas on how to improve animal welfare.

Organisations and individuals interested in getting involved or learning more about the Animal Welfare Collaborative are encouraged to contact coordinators by email ( or via the website 

Research contact: Dr Jill N. Fernandes, Researcher Animal Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, M: 0498 019 840 T: +61 7 3346 2170 E: