UK, Companion Animal Welfare Council


Name of organisation 

Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC)




The provision of advice on the welfare of companion animals and the publication of its findings; the furtherance of the fuller understanding of companion animal welfare and of the role of companion animals in society; the assessment of existing legislation affecting the welfare of companion animals, and the making of recommendations regarding amendments or additions thereto.


CAWC is an independent advisory body. It is funded through, and members are appointed by, the Welfare Fund for Companion Animals. There are 20 members. The Chairman is Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior.

Working methods

Undertake independent and objective studies of companion animal welfare issues and identify where further information is required. Prepare and publish reports thereon. Make available information and research data which it has obtained, in order to enable Parliamentary legislation on companion animal welfare issues to be drafted and debated on an informal basis. Be open to requests for objective views, advice and the carrying out of independent studies on issues concerned with the welfare of companion animals.

Contact details

CAWC Secretariat
The Dene
Old North Road Bourn
Cambridge CB23 2TZ
Email Tel/fax   (0)1954 718882


Link to website



Companion Animal Welfare Council Reports

CAWC Workshop: Towards an independent advisory body on tackling genetic welfare problems in companion animals? 


This is the report of a workshop, held on 17th February 2009, to consider the idea of an independent advisory group to advise on tackling genetic welfare problems in companion animals in more detail, to define its nature and role and consider how it might be established.Companion animal welfare assessment



This report discusses methods for the assessment of companion animal welfare and the need for further development of methodology.Scoping report on companion animal welfare surveillance


Knowledge of the status of animal welfare – of the nature of the main problems and of their prevalence – is crucial to endeavours to focus efforts where they are most needed for major improvements. This is the report of a CAWC working group to consider how companion animal welfare surveillance might be developed.


The regulation of companion animal services in relation to training and behaviour modification of dogs


This report addressing issues relating to the welfare concerns arising from the training of animals. It is focused primarily on the regulation of related services and identifies areas for further consideration. 

Approaches to tackling genetic welfare problems in companion animals


The report of a CAWC workshop to consider approaches to tackling genetic welfare problems in companion animals.


Breeding and welfare in companion animals. Welfare aspects of modifications, through selective breeding or biotechnological methods, to the form, function or behaviour of companion animals.


This is the report of a wide-ranging review of selective breeding of companion animals in order to form objective views on the welfare aspects, identify areas in which research is needed, and make recommendations about tackling problems.



Companion animal welfare establishments: sanctuaries, shelters and re-homing centres


This report considers concerns about perceived variations in the standards of welfare, at premises where displaced animals are taken in and cared for (companion animal welfare establishments). Welfare of non-domesticated animals kept for companionship



This reviews the keeping of non-domesticated species as companion animals. The keeping of non-domesticated animals for companionship has been questioned, based on concern for their welfare. The needs of some species are relatively easy to meet but those of others present considerable challenges if high welfare standards are to be achieved. Identification and registration of companion animals



This report considers issues relating to the identification and registration of companion animals, including practical aspects, the benefits of identification systems and their costs.