We conduct research into the interactions of animals with humans, both individually and collectively. We encourage collaborative research with other Universities which have complementary interests. All research programmes are conducted in a way that is compatible with and contributes to the welfare of the animals and species being studied.
Background and chronology
Anthrozoology is the study of interactions between man and animals, and has emerged as a speciality over the past twenty-five years, initially in North America and subsequently also in Europe, Australia and Japan. It is essentially an interdisciplinary science, involving specialists in biology, psychology, social sciences, medicine and veterinary science. Its first peer-reviewed journal, Anthrozoös, commenced publication in 1987. In 1991 the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) was founded to promote international collaboration between research workers.
The relationship between mankind and the natural world is a key issue for this century. As human activities come into more and more conflict with those of other species, anthrozoology will have an increasing role to play in determining and shaping human attitudes towards animals in general and domesticated species in particular.
In 1992 the Anthrozoology Institute was founded at the University of Southampton, to provide a more formal basis for research into companion animal behaviour that had been growing there since 1987. This was made possible by the establishment of the post of Waltham Director of the Anthrozoology Institute, through an endowment to the University from WALTHAM. The welfare charities Cats Protection and Dogs Trust also provide support for academic posts associated with the Institute.
The AzI moved to the Department of Clinical Veterinary Science at the University of Bristol in 2003, where it became integrated into the Animal Welfare & Behaviour Group (AW&B). It currently functions to foster collaborations between staff within AW&B and with other universities, in interdisciplinary projects where the primary focus is human-animal interactions.
The AzI is supporting the University's Centenary Campaign appeal for a new Lectureship in Companion Animal Welfare.
In 2009-10 John Bradshaw and Elizabeth Paul collaborated with the Universities of Exeter and Reading in an ESRC-funded series of workshops on “Understanding individual behaviour through human/animal relations”. Other staff associated with the AzI include Rachel Casey, Emily Blackwell, Nicola Rooney and Jane Murray.
September 2011. Unit 2 of the University of Bristol’s Certificate of Higher Education in Companion Animal Welfare and Behavioural Rehabilitation: a course designed specifically for staff of rehoming charities (Dogs Trust and RSPCA).
June 2011. Dr Jane Murray, Professor Tim Gruffydd-Jones and John Bradshaw have been awarded a grant by Cats Protection and RSPCA to study the effectiveness of neutering campaigns for feral and owned cats.
February 2011. Inauguration of the Companion Animal Population Initiative, a collaboration between Dr Jane Murray, Professor Tim Gruffydd-Jones, Dr John Bradshaw, Dr Sean Rands, Dr Rachel Casey and Professor Bill Browne.