Animal Welfare and Disease Control

The goal of this section is to conduct research related to veterinary science within the fields of bioethics, animal behaviour and epidemiology. The research focuses on identifying and describing patterns, associations and relationships, and using this knowledge to improve animal welfare, sustainability and profitability within animal production.

The subjects of animal welfare, prudent use of antibiotics, sustainable production systems and profitability for farmers are the core of the research in this group. This creates value for society in general because it develops and evaluates novel ways of optimizing animal welfare and profitability at both the farm and national level, including prioritising the prudent use of antibiotics. 

Studies in animal behaviour and bioethics provide a foundation of basic knowledge, to create a better understanding of the interaction between people and animals. 

Studies of disease spread and the effectiveness of control measures help farmers, vets and other people in the field to reduce spread of diseases. Moreover, all of the mentioned disciplines are combined in the One Health approach, improving the sustainability of co-existence for humans and animals at the same time. 

Quote from head of section Hans Houe:

We utilize knowledge from all biological and societal levels in an interdiciplinary and integrative approach. This way we address important research questions that simultaneously have relevance for many stakeholders.”

Project: Robuste kalve

Photo of calve laying in hay

The aim is to promote the breeding of robust calves by producing knowledge and tools for optimal health management of calves, with a focus on the first months of life, so that calf mortality and antibiotics-
consumption can be lowered.
Read more about "Robuste kalve" (in Danish)

Project: ACROBAT

Photo of calf and chicken

Reduced use of AntimiCROBials in cAttle and poulTry. Read more about the ACROBAT project












  1. Book on evaluation of One Health initiatives: Health combines the disciplines of animal and human health and ecosystems. This is a handbook that provides an overview of concepts and processes as well as guidance on how to implement the One Health approach.

  2. Lahrmann, H. P., Hansen, C. F., D’Eath, R., Busch, M. E., & Forkman, B. (2018). Tail posture predicts tail biting outbreaks at pen level in weaner pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 200, 29–35. study shows that lowered tail postures in pigs can be utilized to predict tail biting outbreaks at pen level. 

  3. Sandøe, P., Corr, S. A., Lund, T. B., & Forkman, B. (2019). Aggregating animal welfare indicators – Can it be done in a transparent and ethically robust way. Animal Welfare 28(1): 67-76. Serious challenges arise within the process of creating an index for animal welfare. In this study, we focus on the ethical aspects of this problem and discuss the different ways to proceed.













This section contributes knowledge, articles, and results within its core areas to the website is a web site run by the Faculty of Health at the University of Copenhagen. The person responsible for the site is Peter Sandøe, professor of animal ethics. 

An English version of is found at The aim of the site is to share insights and reflections regarding animal ethics and animal welfare. It contains academic papers and other academic publications which as far as possible are made available in an open access format. Furthermore it contains introductory texts aimed primarily at students, professionals and university teachers from veterinary and animal science and other branches of biology.

Small image of webpage with Link til









The section’s areas of expertise are


  • Veterinary ethics and science theory
  • Science theory for students of the production animal sciences
  • Responsible Conduct of Research (mandatory PhD course)


  • Ethology
  • Forensic medicine and welfare evaluation
  • Applied ethology

Veterinary epidemiology

We teach methods for investigating causes of the distribution of diseases, as well as methods and tools for combating diseases in populations. This includes the following courses:

  • Basic statistics and epidemiology
  • Epidemiology I: Planning a study
  • Epidemiology II: Analyzing continuous, count and dichotomous data from observational studies
  • Epidemiology III: Analysis of clustered data – with emphasis on veterinary- and animal science applications
  • Diagnostic Test Evaluations
  • Ad hoc courses

Interdisciplinary and applied areas

  • Animals, humans and society
  • Health and Welfare
  • Equine nutrition and management
  • Master of Veterinary Public Health: Risk Analysis of Animal Health and Food Safety
  • Herd- and Societal Health
  • Differentiation: Heart diseases
  • Differentiation: Biomedicine
  • Differentiation: Diseases in Family Animals
  • Differentiation: Production animals
  • Veterinary Forensic Medicine
  • Master of Veterinary Public Health: Disease Outbreak Management
  • Master of Veterinary Public Health: Disease Control and Dynamics - in a One Health Setting
  • Master of Veterinary Public Health: Animal Health Economics





















Group leader

Head of Section

Professor Hans Houe

Phone: +45 353-33585
Grønnegårdsvej 8
DK-1870 Frederiksberg C

Group/project members

Internal researchers

Name Title Phone E-mail
Agger, Jens Frederik Gramstrup Associate Professor Emeritus +4535333013 E-mail
Al-Hussainy, Nour Shaker M Radha Visiting Student   E-mail
Boklund, Anette Ella Senior Adviser +4535330847 E-mail
Brichet, Nathalia Associate Professor +4535337814 E-mail
Brogaard, Louise Guest Researcher +4535334262 E-mail
Bruun, Camilla Vibeke Sichlau Associate Professor +4535333067 E-mail
Bødker, René Senior Researcher +4535325262 E-mail
Christensen, Knud Arnbjerg Associate Professor Emerita +4524804179 E-mail
Christensen, Ole Fredslund Borg Guest Lecturer   E-mail
Christiansen, Stine B. Senior Consultant +4535333075 E-mail
Cirera, Susanna Associate Professor +4535333050 E-mail
Conrady, Beate Associate Professor +4535322309 E-mail
Czycholl, Irena Associate Professor +4535329677 E-mail
Denwood, Matt Associate Professor +4535332307 E-mail
Eriksson, Kari Bækgaard PhD Fellow +4535327185 E-mail
Farre, Anders Michael No job title VIP +4535327220 E-mail
Fitzwilliams, Therese Emilie Glar Teacher´s Assistant   E-mail
Forkman, Björn Professor +4535333581 E-mail
Fredholm, Merete Professor +4535333074 E-mail
Guldbrandtsen, Bernt Professor +4535334784 E-mail
Gussmann, Maya Katrin Assistant Professor +4535337510 E-mail
Hald, Tine Marianne Guest Researcher   E-mail
Henningsen, Maj Beldring PhD Fellow +4535323708 E-mail
Hinrichsen, Caroline Ignatz Teacher´s Assistant   E-mail
Houe, Hans Professor +4535333014 E-mail
Ibragimov, Emil PhD Fellow +4535332440 E-mail
Jakobsen, Minna Laboratory Technician +4528756961 E-mail
Jensen, Dennis Schultz Attendant +4540472789 E-mail
Jensen, Line Bylov Laboratory Technician +4535329923 E-mail
Jørgensen, Claus Bøttcher Associate Professor +4535333064 E-mail
Karlskov-Mortensen, Peter Associate Professor +4535333430 E-mail
Kirkeby, Carsten Thure Senior Researcher +4535337215 E-mail
Kjær, Lene Jung Assistant Professor +4535337290 E-mail
Kristensen, Jeanette Research Assistant +4535334415 E-mail
Ladewig, Jan Professor Emeritus   E-mail
Lemser, Camilla Engel Visiting Student   E-mail
Liu, Yangfan PhD Fellow +4535323023 E-mail
Luigi Sierra, Maria Gracia Postdoc +4535323354 E-mail
Lützen, Annika Thorup Teacher´s Assistant   E-mail
Mahler, Tina Bahrt Neergaard Laboratory Technician. +4528756961 E-mail
Mandel Briefer, Roi Postdoc   E-mail
Meyer, Iben Assistant Professor +4530233879 E-mail
Michelsen, Anne Marie Academic Research Staff +4535322475 E-mail
Nauta, Maarten Johannes Visiting Teacher   E-mail
Nielsen, Liza Rosenbaum Professor +4535333015 E-mail
Nielsen, Søren Saxmose Professor +4535333096 E-mail
Otten, Nina Dam Associate Professor +4535331520 E-mail
Petersen, Louise Hedegaard Teacher´s Assistant   E-mail
Reimert, Mossa Merhi Research Assistant +4535324135 E-mail
Rosenquist, Hanne Visiting Teacher +4551157402 E-mail
Sandøe, Peter Head of Section +4535333059 E-mail
Seressia, Jeanne Visiting Student +4535332897 E-mail
Skarbye, Alice Puk Postdoc +4535337680 E-mail
Skjølstrup, Nanna Krogh Research Assistant +4535323480 E-mail
Skovlund, Cecilie Ravn Industrial PhD +4520270506 E-mail
Stelder, Jonno Jorn PhD Fellow   E-mail
Svennesen, Line Postdoc +4535337728 E-mail
Thuesen, Ida Sofie External, Ph.d Student +4535325237 E-mail
Troldborg, Nicoline Sisse Teacher´s Assistant   E-mail