About EURCAW Ruminants & Equines

The European Union Reference Centre for Animal Welfare (EURCAW) Ruminants & Equines is the third Centre designated by the European Commission (Official Controls Regulation 2017/625, Articles 95 & 96), established in May 2021. The remit of the EURCAW is to support the Competent Authorities in EU member states with the implementation of current regulations on animal welfare. The Centre provides scientific and technical expertise on the development and application of animal welfare indicators and methods of assessment of animal welfare to competent authorities and policy workers in animal welfare. EURCAW Ruminants & Equines covers a range of farm animal species including those used for dairy production (cows, goats, sheep, buffaloes), the production of meat by cattle, sheep, goats, deer and horses, and ruminants and equines kept for other purposes. The activities of the EURCAW Ruminants & Equines are set out in a work programme in consultation with the European Commission. The work programme for 2023-2024 is available here.

EURCAW Ruminants & Equines is functioning on the basis of EU ethical principles and rules, namely equality, diversity and inclusion. In order to support an environment that promotes respect, inclusivity, and fairness the Centre has adopted a Code of Conduct, to uphold respectful and inclusive behaviour regarding protected characteristics in meetings (physical and online) and communication platforms, and is applicable to all participants.

The EURCAW Ruminants & Equines is a partnership of six organisations, coordinated by Professor Harry Blokhuis, Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Partners are Birgitta Staaf Larsson (Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare, SLU), Professor Christoph Winckler (BOKU, Austria), Dr Isabelle Veissier (INRAE, France), Dr Evangelia Sossidou (ELGO-DIMITRA, Veterinary Research Institute, Greece), Dr Silvia D’Albenzio (IZSAM, Italy) and Professor Alison Hanlon (UCD, Ireland). Scientific and technical experts from each partner country further support the activities of EURCAW Ruminants & Equines.