EURCAW Ruminants & Equines Newsletter Vol.01


Welcome to our first newsletter! EURCAW Ruminants & Equines was designated by the European Commission on 1 June 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, relating to ruminants & equines. 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.

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About Us

The EURCAW Ruminants & Equines is a partnership of six organisations, coordinated by Prof Harry Blokhuis, Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Partners are Birgitta Staaf Larsson (Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare, SLU), Prof Christoph Winckler (BOKU, Austria), Dr Isabelle Veissier (INRAE, France), Dr Evangelia Sossidou (ELGO-DIMITRA, VRI, Greece), Dr Silvia D’Albenzio (IZSAM, Italy) & Prof Alison Hanlon (UCD, Ireland).

Work Programme

The EURCAW work programme is divided into five activities: 1. Coordinated assistance, 2. Animal welfare indicators (methods for the assessment & methods for improvement), 3. Scientific & technical studies, 4. Training courses, 5. Dissemination & communication.

Activity 2 contains subactivities – the first will investigate two open norms in the EU directive to protect calves: the feeding of rearing calves (calves should be fed at least twice daily and receive adequate feeds according to their needs) and the need for contact between individually housed calves (calf boxes should have “perforated walls which allow the calves to have direct visual and tactile contact”).

Meet the Scientist

The EURCAW Ruminants & Equines have an incredible team of over 100 scientists & technical experts to support our activities. Too many to name individually! Instead in each issue of the newsletter we would like to introduce a handful of or experts.

Meet Dr Carlos Hernandez, chairperson of the thematic working group on the feeding of calves for Activity 2. He is a researcher working at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Animal Nutrition and Management. Among his research interests are the effects of pre and post-natal nutrition, as well as husbandry practices during early life on the behavioural and physiological development of farm animals.

Dr Raphaëlle Botreau from INRAE is chairing the thematic working group on occupational, physical and cognitive enrichment as part of Activity 3. Dr Botreau is a researcher on farmed ruminant welfare, with a particular focus on environmental enrichment.

Dr Carlos Hernandez
Dr Carlos Hernandez



Questions to EURCAW (Q2E) aims to support National Competent Authorities & their Official Inspectors with the implementation of Commission Directives on animal welfare relating to ruminants & equines. If you have scientific or technical queries about animal welfare indicators, methods of assessment regarding implementing the Directives we can help. Email 


The Centre’s website will be launched in October 2022:

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