The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education

Delphi Project

Delphi Project – Expert consensus on animal welfare priority issues in the UK

What is the Delphi Project?

The aim of this study is to use a modified Delphi procedure to create an overall ranking of welfare outcomes for managed animals in the UK. The species included in the study are: horses, cats, rabbits, exotics, wildlife, cattle, pigs, poultry, small ruminants, and dogs.  The results of this study will help guide the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) in prioritising support for particular areas of animal welfare research.


What is the Delphi Method?

The Delphi method is based on the assumption that group opinion is more valid than individual opinion. The method relies on a group of experts participating in multiple rounds of surveys in an attempt to reach consensus on an important issue, e.g. in this instance, welfare priority issues of managed animals in the UK. This study will use both classical and modified Delphi methodologies. The Delphi method uses ‘rounds’ of surveys. There will be 4 rounds in this study. The final round will aim to reach consensus and generate an overall ranking for the UK animal welfare priorities.


Who is involved in the study?

The Delphi project is funded by the Animal Welfare Foundation The Principal Investigator of the study is Prof Cathy Dwyer, Director of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, and the project is a collaboration between JMICAWE and SRUC. Co-investigators include Dr Mel Connor, Dr Heather Bacon and Prof Alistair Lawrence. Coordination and day-to-day management of the project will be conducted by Dr Fiona Lang.


Benefits of the Study

The benefits of this study will be that we will bring together expertise from multiple key stakeholders in animal welfare (e.g. veterinarians, academics, practitioners, voluntary and charitable bodies, etc) and generate consensus on the most important animal welfare issues facing a range of species which will be fed back to the AWF who can subsequently use this information to inform their research priorities.


For further information please contact Dr Fiona Lang,