PhD position, the Netherlands (deadline Jan 31)

 13th Jan 2023

PhD candidate ‘Welfare risk assessment in the broiler chicken production chain’ towards smart welfare monitoring in broiler chickens 

Department of Population Health Sciences, Utrecht University
Utrecht, the Netherlands

As part of a collaborative project between Utrecht University (UU) and the and the Office for Risk Assessment and Research (BuRO), an independent part of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), we seek an enthusiastic candidate for a PhD position on the topic of welfare risk assessment in the broiler chicken production chain. This position is part of a larger project on welfare risk assessment in farm animals. This project will also focus on bringing together information on welfare indicators and integrating the information to allow smart welfare monitoring over time.

Advanced knowledge on the accumulation of welfare risks that broiler chickens encounter on farm, during catching and transport and at slaughter will aid welfare risk management in the broiler chicken production chain and will allow the identification of key areas where improvements are needed.

The goals of the PhD-project are three-fold:

  1. to develop a methodology for smart monitoring of the welfare of broiler chickens, based on a systematic literature review;
  2.  to formulate and apply a smart welfare assessment methodology in the Dutch broiler production chain, on-farm, during catching and transport and at slaughter, and;
  3. to analyse the data collected and to investigate the integration of welfare indicators and the accumulation of welfare risks throughout the broiler chicken production chain. The results will be published in a Dutch handbook for the BuRO-NVWA and in a PhD thesis.

You will work on systematic literature review and data collection, integration and analysis. This position will also involve a lot of communication with stakeholders from the production chain and with the project team. Knowledge on animal welfare and on welfare risk assessment is essential. Knowledge on broiler production or on the wider poultry industry is desired. The planned start of this PhD project is 1 April 2023.

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