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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Animal welfare science, animal behaviour and cognition, sustainable livestock production

Donald Broom has developed concepts and methods of scientific assessment of animal welfare and investigated: cognitive abilities of animals, the welfare of animals in relation to housing and transport, sustainable livestock production systems, behaviour problems, attitudes to animals and ethics of animal usage. Animals studied include: cattle, pigs, sheep, hens, ducks, farmed fish and dogs. Recent work has concerned sentience, domestic animal concepts and emotions, pain assessment in cattle and sheep, disease as a welfare problem and three-level silvopastoral systems.


After 19 years as Lecturer, then Reader, in Reading University, Donald Broom was appointed the world's first Professor of Animal Welfare in 1986. In his Centre for Animal Welfare and Anthrozoology, he has developed concepts and methods of scientific assessment of animal welfare and studied: cognitive abilities of animals, the welfare of farmed and other animals in relation to housing and transport, behaviour problems of pets, sustainable livestock production, attitudes to animals and ethics of animal usage. 

He has published 9 books and over 350 refereed papers, lectured on animal welfare in 45 countries and served on UK (FAWC, APC, Seals, BBC Rural Affairs) and Council of Europe committees. He has been Chairman or Vice Chairman of EU Scientific Committees on Animal Welfare 1990 – 2009 and a member of the EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare until June 2012.  He chaired the O.I.E. group on Welfare of Animals during Land Transport. 


Developing and using methods of evaluating animal welfare.
Assessing cognitive ability in domestic animals including cattle, pigs, sheep and dogs

Animal welfare concepts and assessment, cognitive ability, attitudes to animals, sustainable livestock, ethics of animal usage.


Key publications: 

Broom D M (2016) International animal welfare perspectives, including whaling and inhumane seal killing as a public morality issue.  In Animal Law and Welfare – International Perspectives, 45-61, (eds) D.Cao and S. White. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. Book DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-26818-7.

Broom D M and Fraser A F (2015), “Domestic Animal Behaviour and Welfare ” 5th edn. Wallingford: CABI. pp 472.

Broom D M (2014), “Sentience and Animal Welfare ” Wallingford: CABI. pp 200

Broom DM, Galindo FA, Murgueitio E (2013), “Sustainable, efficient livestock production with high biodiversity and good welfare for animals.” Proc Biol Sci 280(1771):20132025 Details

Broom, D.M. (2013), “The science of animal welfare and its relevance to whales. ” Anim. Welfare, 22, 123-126.

O’Driscoll, K.K.M. and Broom, D.M. (2012), “Does access to open water affect the behaviour of Pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos)? ” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 136, 156-165.

Broom D M (2011), “A history of animal welfare science. ” Acta Biotheoretica, 59, 121-137.

Marlin, D., Kettlewell, P., Parkin, T., Kennedy, M., Broom, D. M. and Wood, J (2011), “Welfare and health of horses transported for slaughter within the European Union ” Eq. Vet. J 43, 76-87

Broom DM (2010), “Cognitive ability and awareness in domestic animals and decisions about obligations to animals. ” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 126, 1-11.

Cañon Jones, H.A., Hansen, L.A., Noble, C., Damsgård, B., Broom, D.M., Pearce, G.P. (2010), “Social network analysis of behavioural interactions influencing fin damage development in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) during feed-restriction. ” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 127, 139-151.

Oltenacu, P.A. and Broom, D.M. (2010), “The impact of genetic selection for increased milk yield on the welfare of dairy cows.” Anim. Welfare, 19 (S), 39-49.

Broom, D.M., Sena, H. and Moynihan, K.L. (2009), “Pigs learn what a mirror image represents and use it to obtain information.” Anim. Behav., ., 78, 1037-1041.

Broom D M (2008), “Welfare assessment and relevant ethical decisions: key concepts” Annu. Rev. Biomed. Sci., 10, T79-T90.

Broom D M (2006), “Traceability of food and animals in relation to animal welfare. ” Annals of the 2nd International Conference on Agricultural Product Traceability, . Brasilia: Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply. 195 – 201

Broom D M (2006), “The evolution of morality. ” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 100, 20-28.

Broom, D M (1998), "Welfare, stress and the evolution of feelings." Adv. Study Behav., 27, 371-403.

Broom D M (1991), "Animal welfare: concepts and measurement."  J. Anim. Sci., 69, 4167-4175.

Emeritus Professor of Animal Welfare
Available for consultancy


Local Affiliations: 
Person keywords: 
Small animal
Cognitive ability
Animal welfare science
animal behaviour