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Science Group

The RSPCA Science Group is a centre of expertise which provides the scientific basis that helps enable the Society to advance animal welfare effectively.

Firm foundation

Ginger kitten lying down © RSPCA

A strength of the RSPCA is that it strives to base its policies, activities and approaches to promoting animal welfare on scientific evidence. This gives the organisation credibility with its supporters, the general public and decision-makers.

Expert knowledge 

Our Science Group employs approximately 20 postgraduate and postdoctoral animal welfare scientists organised into four departments covering companion, farmed, research animals and wildlife.

We aim to be an authority on a wide range of animal welfare science by gathering, assessing and presenting comprehensive scientific and technical information and advice on a range of issues. 

Welfare advocates

Mouse © Andrew Forsyth / RSPCA photolibrary

We actively engage with policy and decision-makers in government, industry and the wider community, both nationally and internationally, in order to promote practical advances for animal welfare.

Our work to support the animal welfare activities of the RSPCA is wide ranging and includes, for example, the setting of the RSPCA standards for the welfare of farmed animals that underpin the Freedom Food scheme. 

Overview of Science Group activities 

Outdoor piglet on Suffolk farm. © Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA Photolibrary

The publication, Helping animals through welfare science - RSPCA Science Group Review, is published annually and highlights the spectrum of activities undertaken by the four departments (companion animals, farm animals, research animals and wildlife) within the Society's Science Group. 

Read our latest review for 2013, published in April 2014:

Helping animals through welfare science - RSPCA Science Group Review of 2013 (2014) (PDF 2.86MB)

Past activities

RSPCA science group logo © RSPCA

Review of 2012 (PDF 5.53MB)
Review of 2011 (PDF 2.30MB)
Review of 2010 (PDF 1.56MB)

Review of 2009 (PDF 1.64MB)
Review of 2008 (PDF 1.49MB)