LHWF Project Research Officer (Part-time)

Laying Hen Welfare Forum

Location: to be agreed 

The post will be for a fixed term ending April 2020.

Are you an experienced Researcher in animal welfare science with expertise in studies involving laying hens or other farm animals? Do you have good knowledge of research methods, data collection techniques and statistical analysis?

The Laying Hen Welfare Forum (LHWF) is a consortium of key stakeholders working on several initiatives to improve the welfare of laying hens. This post, funded by RPA Rural Development, will manage and undertake an agreed programme of research and dissemination activities to improve feather cover of commercial laying hens in all systems of housing.

In conjunction with members of the LHWF, you will develop bespoke Feather Cover Action Plans (FCAP’s) and at the same time monitor feather cover, mortality and injuries attributable to injurious pecking, together with levels of uptake of management strategies. The project will build on research evidence and will test the best approaches for commercial implementation and uptake of strategies aimed at reducing injurious pecking in laying hens. This project will develop and monitor, on 25 trial farms, an innovative approach to ensure that the bespoke FCAP’s actually deliver reduced feather pecking on farms.

You will also, together with the LHWF, liaise with the Assurance Schemes and with support actors such as veterinary surgeons, advisors and field staff to:

  • Use and build on existing knowledge and resources
  • Develop examples of best practice for maintaining good feather cover in all housing systems and the key strategies of maintaining friable litter (for free range and barn), putting in place rearing strategies for the flock based on the farms’ welfare outcome measurements and establishing an active link between flock health and disease and an active veterinary health and welfare plan (VHWP)
  • Disseminate videos and descriptions of evidence-based best practices throughout the project on an ongoing basis, including via Social Media
  • Pilot, validate and agree standardised protocols for implementing the recommendations of the Beak Trimming Action Group and collecting data
  • Arrange regional roadshows to disseminate the resources, to share best practices to facilitate drawing up and particularly stimulate enacting FCAP’s to reduce injurious pecking
  • Provide summaries of data and regular reports of progress

To be successful in this role you will have a qualification in animal behaviour or welfare science, veterinary medicine or science, or a related subject, ideally with a postgraduate research qualification. You will have a good knowledge of research methods, data collection techniques and statistical analysis, with some experience of working with farmers. Evidence of good interpersonal and data handling skills is essential. A knowledge of posting on social media and websites and of poultry production is desirable, although training will be available. A full driving licence, with own car is essential for this post, which will require travel mainly
within England, but with occasional travel within Wales and Scotland, and occasional overnight stays.

Closing date for application is 26th January 2018.

Please forward covering letter and CV via email to: Mark Williams: mark.williams@britisheggindustrycouncil.com 
C/O British Egg Industry Council
Second Floor
89 Charterhouse Street
London
EC1M 6HR

For further information, please contact Dr. Claire Weeks, Claire.Weeks@bristol.ac.uk , or Mark Williams, mark.williams@britisheggindustrycouncil.com 

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