Wageningen University & Research conducts studies that benefit animals in the Carus animal research facility. Among other things, we study animal behaviour and the interaction between humans and their pets, dogs, for example. We investigate how we may improve the welfare of farm animals such as cows and pigs, and we search for the best animal feed, ranging from cat food to feed for chickens and fish.
The research in the Caris facility contributes significantly to improving animal health and quality of life. Moreover, we contribute to safe, healthy and good food, for animals and for humans.
In the research, animals can act as models for themselves, for example, in studies on animal digestion. Sometimes the animal serves as a model for humans. Mice, for example, are occasionally needed for research on human diseases.
At Carus, we examine the link between wellbeing and health using modern methods such as sensors, real-time monitoring, big data analyses and self-learning algorithms. Carus also has state of the art high-grade research equipment, such as high-speed cameras for instance, at its disposal.
Researchers record the effect new situations have on animal behaviour in the many behavioural observation units Carus has. Consider, for example, the effect of group housing for pigs and tests on dogs and cats.
Our unique respiration chambers enable us to accurately measure the energy metabolism of animals of all shapes and sizes. Cows, for example, but also chickens, pigs and even fish. This yields a wealth of information: what animals consume, what they digest, and what gases they subsequently produce. Thus, we can take precise readings on methane emissions.
Within the WUR, in all our research with animals, respect for the animal and animal welfare comes first.
WUR only carries out animal experiments if no alternative research method is available. An independent national committee decides whether research on or with an animal is allowed. Furthermore, before the experiment at Carus starts, a test is carried out by a local animal welfare authority.
Research at Carus is conducted in the fields of sustainable animal husbandry, behaviour and welfare, biology and aquaculture.
For educational purposes, Carus supports projects from different study programs at BSc, MSc and PhD level.