What we do
We focus on contemporary and future debates on the relationship between humans and animals in order to identify problems in a timely manner, and to bring them up for discussion.
Some contemporary issues
- Treatment of rats and mice that are perceived as 'pests' (more information in Dutch)
- Assessment frameworks for euthanasia of animals
- Welfare of broiler chickens (more information in Dutch)
- Access to pasture for dairy cows
- Welfare of pedigree dogs
- Adapting animals to the needs of humans: how far should we go?
The same animals, but different contexts
We also pay attention to how we deal with animals in different contexts. For example, people keep rats as pets or as laboratory animals, but rats also live in the wild. The way we deal with animals depends on the context and the purpose for which the animal is being kept, as well as the legislation applicable in the individual context. When kept as pets, we consider rats to be members of the family; in the laboratory we use them to develop pharmaceuticals; and yet in the wild we do our best to exterminate them as pests. Why do we see the same animal differently in different contexts? That is one of the issues that CenSAS aims to clarify.
Link to education and research
We work to link our projects to education and current research. Within our projects, we take advantage of the expertise available at Wageningen University and Research and Utrecht University, and we commission extra research in the fields of animal welfare, ethics, the relationships between humans and animals, and social aspects of these issues as necessary.
Preparation for practice
In our education, we use these issues to prepare future veterinarians and animal scientists for their role in society and the practice of their future professions. As part of their internship or graduate assignments, students are assigned to conduct Quick Scans prior to projects in order to inventory the current state of affairs within the specific issues, and to conduct stakeholder analyses.