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For any questions regarding abstract submission, please email (Mike) Jacobs in Wageningen Academic Publishers:

Guidelines and recommendations WAFL 2021 for authors:

  • Abstracts must be written in English. Linguistic accuracy is the responsibility of the authors.

  • The title should not exceed 120 characters (including spaces).

  • The body of the abstract should not exceed 300 words, excluding title, names and affiliation. The maximum for the overall number of keystrokes is 2,500 leaving approximately 400 keystrokes for title, authors and affiliations. If the latter exceeds 400 keystrokes, the available keystrokes for the abstract text are reduced accordingly.

  • References, figures and tables should not be included.

  • Abstracts presenting innovative ideas theoretical and/or empirical work will be considered for presentation.

  • Abstracts must contain a clear statement of the purpose of the work, the methods used, results (for empirical studies) and conclusions.

  • Abstracts on empirical studies must indicate the method(s) of analysis, contain data (means, variation, etc.), and provide information about test statistics (e.g. P- values).

  • Results should be presented in sufficient detail to support the conclusions drawn.

  • References are not required in the abstract.

  • The first name of the author(s), not just initials, should be provided, as well as the affiliated institute and its location (but not the full address).

  • Each presenting author may not submit more than two proposals. If two presentations are accepted for a presenting author, at least one will be a poster.

  • Oral presentations for the normal scientific programme are 15 minute slots which are split into 12 minutes for presenting and 3 minutes for questions.

  • Invited keynote presentations are longer orals allowing 35 minutes for presentation, and 10 minutes for discussion, and are designed to allow a more broad discussion of a subject area.

  • PhD and MSc students are eligible to participate in the Best Poster Competition. The posters are evaluated by senior researchers assessing their scientific and presentation qualities.

  • All abstracts submitted must comply with the “Guidelines for Ethical Treatment of Animals in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research” prepared by the ISAE Ethics Committee (/ethical_guidelines.html).

Available Themes:

  1. Transdisciplinary approaches to measuring animal welfare

Transdisciplinary research involves scientists from multiple disciplines communicating, exchanging ideas and working together to come up with solutions to animal welfare problems. Investigators from different disciplines may have jointly created new conceptual, theoretical, methodological, or translational innovations beneficial to animal welfare science. In particular we welcome submissions that contribute to our ability to evaluate and understand the affective state and the value of individual differences and in the development of indicators of positive welfare.


   2. Back to basics: practical solutions to improve animal welfare

Under this theme we welcome submissions on improving the animals’ environment and on optimising husbandry procedures and handling to minimise fear, pain and suffering.  


   3. Animal health and welfare: Interchangeable or interdependent?

We welcome papers which involve research on animal health and animal welfare and which challenge the definition of both.  


  4. The role of animal welfare in addressing global grand challenges

The United Nation’s Committee for Climate Change recently suggested that animal welfare has a major role to play in the sustainability of animal agriculture. We welcome papers demonstrating how animal welfare science and/or policy can help address some of the major challenges facing humans, animals and the environment, such as antimicrobial resistance, climate change, food security etc. Papers demonstrating the One Health/One Welfare theme are also welcome.


  5. Humans in the animal welfare loop

This theme covers a wide range of research areas including human-animal interactions (in zoos, on farms and in laboratories) and wildlife management, social science investigating the behaviour and attitudes of stakeholders (e.g. consumers, farmers, society), quality assurance schemes and concepts such as social licence.  


  6. Free papers

As well as the above themes, papers dealing with any other aspect of animal welfare science are also welcome, and can be submitted under the ‘Free Paper’ theme.

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We are delighted to announce that we will partner with Frontiers in Veterinary Science to host an open access Golden Research Topic publication based on the 2021 WAFL meeting.  At abstract submission authors are asked to indicate their interest in being considered for inclusion in the Golden Research Topic issue. Selected papers (10-12) will be published in full for free.The title should not exceed 120 characters (including spaces).

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