Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare

The Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare program supports the development of innovative solutions to keel bone fractures in cage-free layer hens and alternatives to swine castration.

Program Contact

Dr. Tim Kurt

Development Contact

Dr. Kashyap Choksi

This program is no longer accepting applications

About Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare

Animal health and welfare are key to sustainable food security. Livestock production has intensified in recent years to make meat and dairy products more accessible to consumers; however, the treatment of farm animals in these settings remains controversial. It is often challenging for producers to accommodate natural animal behaviors while reducing injuries and maladaptive behaviors. Additionally, surgical procedures may cause stress and negatively affect animal welfare.

We created the Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare program to support farm animal welfare research. Animal welfare research plays a critical role in improving sustainable livestock production. This research has the potential to improve animal lives, food quality, farm-laborer work environments and the relationship between our society and the food we eat.

Improving animal production practices includes assessing animal physiology, large-scale alterations in animal housing and environmental and economic impacts. This program pioneers cross-disciplinary research in animal genetics, behavior, biotechnology, husbandry, nutrition, physiology and other scientific areas. 

We identified several program priorities including: 

  • Cage-free poultry welfare, specifically the impact and feasibility of addressing keel fractures; and
  • Swine welfare, specifically the impact and feasibility of developing alternatives to castration.


Keel bone x-ray

Want to do more to advance animal welfare?

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.