German recognition for Utrecht animal welfare researcher
The German Academy of Animal Health (Akademie für Tiergesundheit) awards the AfT prize every year, with the aim of supporting excellent clinical or experimental veterinary research by young researchers. This year, Mona Giersberg received the prize - this is the first time since the prize was introduced in 1992 that an animal welfare researcher has been awarded.
Research on animal welfare in animal husbandry
Its research focuses on monitoring and improving the welfare of poultry and pigs in livestock farms and pig houses. This involves a combination of animal welfare research, animal ethics and Precision Livestock Farming (PLF). She studies veterinary, agricultural and ethical aspects in an innovative way. To this end, Giersberg knows how to bring together colleagues from different disciplines.
An example of such a research project is the "SmartResilience" project recently completed. This research focuses on how pig farms can be transformed in a way that takes better account of animal welfare and addresses societal issues. For this, Giersberg worked with an interdisciplinary team consisting of Bas Rodenburg (Animal Welfare) Franck Meijboom (Animal Ethics) and the Adaptation Physiology Chair Group at Wageningen University & Research. You can read more about the interdisciplinary cooperation within the SmartResilience project in this publication.
Judgement of the jury
According to the jury, her scientific work impressively demonstrates the role and importance of veterinary research in the field of farm animal welfare for a future-oriented design of animal husbandry. The award, which also carries a sum of 5,000 euros, was presented on 9 March during the AfT spring symposium in Montabaur (Germany).