For Hans Hopster, everything revolves around animal welfare. He is a theme leader for the Ministry of Agriculture's Animal Welfare policy research programme with the Animal Sciences Group in Lelystad, Animal Welfare lecturer at Hogeschool Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden and leader of the GKC Animal Welfare programme. He is also a member of the NWO programme committee Valuation of Animal Welfare.
Hans: "My work mainly consists of aligning demand (from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, industry, NGOs and the education sector) and supply (from Wageningen UR, other universities, education and external parties) within the field of animal welfare in the form of programmes and projects. In this context, I set up the NWO programme Valuation of Animal Welfare. This offers Wageningen UR new opportunities for knowledge development with other universities. Two recent projects have been the evaluation of the Arrangement for Aggressive Animals (RAD) and the Welfare of Cirsus Animals project. My work leaves me little time to conduct my own research, but I find such socially relevant and unusual projects very inspiring."
Hans is closely involved in the development and organisation of the Dierenwelzijnsweb. He is convinced of the importance of good interaction between education, practice and research. "Animal welfare issues are complex. It is therefore important that parties have access to reliable, neutral and up to date information. This is why we launched the initiative to combine research and education and develop a joint information desk in the Dierenwelzijnsweb, for which Wageningen UR Library provides information. At the same time, the project leaders in education and research ensure that the scientific and social output (lectures, posters, power-points, image material) is made available to the library. Animal welfare mainly 'runs' on public resources, so it's even more important ot give back the developed knowledge to society."
Hans has an ambulant job, travelling to Lelystad, Leeuwarden, The Hague and Wageningen. For that reason, he seldom uses the physical library, but very regularly consults the digital library. LexisNexis, Web of Science and Pubmed are among the collections he visits most frequently. "For the evaluation of the RAD, the newspaper archive LexisNexis was an important source of information about bite incidents, allowing us to list and verify them in police records. In addition, I conduct specific searches on subjects related to Animal Behaviour, Animal Welfare, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Zoo Biology, Physiology & Behaviour, for example."