The Objectives of the Partnership

Based on an “intervention logic”, which helps to identify and set out the relationship between the needs to be addressed by the intervention and its objectives, inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes, general objectives, specific objectives and well as operational objectives have been developed as described below.

The objectives of the EUP AH&W fit in with important initiatives and policies of the European Commission (EC), first and foremost with the European Green Deal and its associated Farm to Fork strategy for a fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly food system. Through its activities, the EUP AH&W will also consider the recent open and sustainable EU trade policy, which specifically focuses on strengthening the capacity of trade to support climate transitions. More particularly, it will also contribute to international trade standards for avoiding the spread of animal and human pathogens.

General Objectives

Four general objectives (GO) will contribute to the long-term vision of the Partnership:

  • GO1: To support the AH&W Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas from the Member States and Associated Countries and add to their complementarity;
  • GO2: To contribute to a robust R&I system for AH&W in Europe, including an improved and comprehensive framework, access to innovative methodologies and products for animal infectious diseases, animal welfare monitoring and control, as well as an increased evidence base for policymakers;
  • GO3: To contribute to better prevention, detection and control of animal health and welfare and to reinforce the preparedness of all actors against upcoming and emerging threats to animal health including zoonoses and vector borne diseases;
  • GO4: To place animal welfare at the foreground of animal production.

Specific Objectives

To achieve the general objectives, the EUP AH&W has set five specific objectives (SO), which will generate the envisioned impacts.

  • SO1: To implement and update the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on animal health and welfare.
  • SO2: Based on the SRIA, support R&I to increase the evidence base on animal health and animal welfare, from farming to slaughtering. Joint research activities among RPOs in the internal programme and in the external open calls of the Partnership will create new knowledge, methodologies, techniques, procedures, data and databases, models, system designs, insights, networks, products, etc. that will be available for further uptake by scientists, authorities, industry and other relevant stakeholders.
  • SO3: To facilitate the cooperation and collaboration between all key actors, including public and private players, on the monitoring, prevention and control of animal infectious diseases and the assessment of animal welfare. Setting up integrative capacity building, research and other activities such as training and education actions will lead to reinforced cooperation and strengthened alignment at translational and EU levels.
  • SO4: To enhance cross-sector cooperation and collaboration in line with the One Health-One Welfare perspective. The contribution of the EUP AH&W to a multidisciplinary approach across sectors will enable targeted actions contributing to sustaining the health and welfare of animals, people, and ecosystems. Approaches will target sectors dealing with AH&W, public health, food safety, farm economics and the environment, including the effects of climate change regarding zoonoses, antimicrobial use and resistance, and animal welfare.
  • SO5: To strengthen the targeted communication and maximize dissemination to public and private actors and stakeholders at national, EU and international levels, including policymakers, regulatory authorities, veterinarians, farmers, large industries, NGOs, Small Medium (SMEs), international and multi-lateral organisations, citizens, etc. to enhance the uptake of EUP AH&W internal and external project Key Exploitable Results (KERs) by potential users. Upstream interaction and engagement with stakeholders will be ensured to identify and monitor their needs and demands and adapt the SRIA accordingly.

Priority areas and Operational Objectives

The general and specific objectives have been transposed into nine Operational Objectives (OO). These Operational Objectives are grouped into five high-level priority areas:

  • Surveillance / monitoring systems and risk assessment for animal health and welfare 
  • Procedures, methodologies and tools to analyse animal health and welfare 
  • Management and husbandry guidelines on farm including aquaculture, during transport and at slaughter 
  • Treatments & vaccines 
  • Integrated approach, including socio-economic aspects of animal health & welfare.

The priority areas can be seen as successive, multi-disciplinary steps from detection and characterization of health and welfare issues to actions in the field for prevention and recovery. They are reflected in the logo of the partnership AH&W, where each of the ‘moons’ represents one of the priority areas, and the transversal one (in orange, Socio-economic aspects) encompasses all the others.   
The partnership will address both terrestrial livestock, poultry and aquaculture; it will cover all production systems, from conventional to organic production. Based on its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) (, the Partnership’s activities will go from fundamental research through to applied research.
The partnership defined 9 operational objectives (OO), described along the priority areas, under which actions will take place:

Priority Area: Surveillance / monitoring systems and risk assessment for animal health and welfare
Surveillance systems for animal infectious diseases or monitoring systems for animal welfare are the basis of the prevent-detect-respond approach. For this area there are two Operational Objectives, i.e. dealing with the monitoring and surveillance systems for animal health and welfare, and the methodologies needed for risk assessment, alert systems and communication.

  • OO1. Contribute to design and harmonize surveillance and monitoring systems for animal health and welfare.

An animal health surveillance system represents a tool to monitor disease trends, to facilitate the control of infection or infestation, to provide data for use in risk analysis, for animal or public health purposes, to substantiate the rationale for sanitary measures and for providing assurances to trading partners. For, standardised and harmonised data collection as well as standardised indicators are key developments to do before monitoring and surveillance systems can be put in place. They feed strategic decisions, temporary measures and set the basis for benchmarking purposes.

  • OO2. Contribute to adapt risk assessment and alert communication to the new needs in animal health and welfare.

To share AH&W data in an efficient and sufficiently transparent way and to set up sensitive alert systems, modern platforms, tools and models are necessary, especially when it comes to the inclusion of new kind of data related to genomics and / or sequencing, climate, movements, post slaughter assessments, etc. Coordinated research and other activities will strengthen the preparedness of the partners to prevent and respond to new and emerging animal infections and changing circumstances for animal husbandry, that will support national and EU policy development on AH&W.

Priority Area: Procedures, methodologies and tools to analyse animal health and welfare
Many of the currently used detection, monitoring and characterization methods for health or welfare issues need improvement, and more accurate diagnostic platforms should be developed. At the same time, new opportunities become available in the form of emerging scientific disciplines and advanced technologies. They can help to detect new and emerging diseases and welfare hazards and monitor entrenched diseases or endemic widespread welfare issues. All the above would help transition from a curative approach to the application of more preventive measures with new and improved diagnostics and assessment schemes. Two Operational Objectives cover the priority area of procedures, methodologies and tools.

  • OO3. To develop diagnostic procedures, methodologies and tools to support the surveillance of animal health.

Standardisation and harmonisation of diagnostic methodologies, capable of detecting, identifying and characterising pathogens (including emerging ones) with high and proven diagnostic reliability (diagnostic specificity and sensitivity in particular) is very important.

  • OO4. To develop procedures, methodologies and tools to support the monitoring of animal welfare.

To obtain real-time, quantitative data that correctly and reliably indicate welfare problems requires appropriate and agreed animal based or management-based measures. In addition, for benchmarking purposes across farms or regions, the methodology of assessment needs to be standardised.


Priority Area: Management and husbandry guidelines on farm including aquaculture, during transport and at slaughter
Increased productivity, intensification and stocking density, with the aim to satisfy the global protein demand and act on the climate challenges, brings along an augmented risk of production-related disease and welfare problems, frequently multifactorial in nature, and associated with biogenic factors as well as farming methods and management factors. Research and practical results are needed to facilitate the further development and implementation of these developments and will contribute to reinforce the interest of all food chain actors and of the consumers in a sustainable livestock sector. Research should address the trade-offs that exist between animal welfare, environmental impact and the economy of the production chains. Two Operational Objectives cover this priority area, i.e. OO5 and OO6.

  • OO5. To develop guidelines and preventive tools to fight against animal infectious diseases on farm and during transport.

Addressing various drivers and exploiting new technologies, measures to prevent, reduce entrance, spread and control animal infectious diseases (AID), requires to set up innovative systems and models, with focus on prudent use of antimicrobials, biosecurity and integrated management while reinforcing animal resilience.

  • OO6. To develop guidelines and prototype solutions that advance animal welfare on farm, during transport and at the end of life.

Mitigating or removing animal welfare challenges on farm, during transport and at the end of life increases resilience to diseases that impair productivity. In addition, it addresses a growing societal concern about the level of welfare in livestock and aquatic production per se.

Priority Area: Treatments & vaccines
Vaccination of animals is often the most cost-efficient measure to prevent and control the spread of AID. Production of new vaccines and improvement of existing ones will require significant scientific advances, before products can be commercialised. The following three Operational Objectives (OO7, OO8 and OO9) cover this priority area.

  • OO7. To develop new interventions and treatments, or improve existing ones, against specific priority animal infectious disease.

Research to study interactions between pathogens, host microbiome, and if relevant antimicrobial and antiparasitic drugs, and tools such as experimental farm approaches; infection models and bioinformatic pipelines, are needed to develop or improve interventions and treatments.

  • OO8. To develop new vaccines or improve existing vaccines, including adjuvants and immune-modulators.

A better understanding of the role of the immune system of farm animals, and factors affecting immune response to vaccines, and applying new tools will support to develop or improve vaccines and immune- modulators and deliver proof of concepts or approved alternative methods.

Transversal Priority Area: Integrated approach, including socio-economic aspects of animal health & welfare
This priority area consists of one Operational Objective OO10 on socio-economic aspects, which cannot be seen independently from the other Operational Objectives. The socio-economic research and integrative activities that will be developed will be embedded in the other priority areas. This transversal priority area will look at any potential trade-offs that may exist between the improvement of animal health and animal welfare through new production methods on one hand, and the environmental and societal impact on the other hand. Here, the emphasis is put on the general dimension and added value of a socio-economic approach in all priority areas of the EUP SRIA.

  • OO9. To develop an integrated approach on animal health and welfare including socio-economic aspects.

Assessment of the economic and societal burden of selected priority diseases, including their control the socio-economic consequences of the possible changes in livestock and fish farming and social science studies among farmers, consumers and other actors along the production chain will help to develop appropriate solutions to facilitate the integration of AID mitigation measures and improved animal welfare and resolve potential trade-offs in the overall context of sustainable livestock production and aquaculture in the EU.


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