Abstract Animal welfare often engages diverse values and ethics including those of citizens, consumers, scientists, and farmers. Consequently, AW is one of the seven grand challenges (GCs) identified by the ASAS Public Policy Committee (PPC). Societal concerns can lead to public policy decisions at the state or federal level that impact animal agriculture. The ASAS PPC GCs on animal welfare will be examined, progress evaluated, and recommendations made for setting research priorities. Five key questions and their corresponding expected outcomes were identified to advance AW in the GC areas of sustainable management practices, genetic markers, pain mitigation, transportation, and humane euthanasia/depopulation. The diversity of disciplines required to address these key questions is astounding. A five-year window (2015-present) was used to evaluate each key question and outcome. The published peer-reviewed literature and the North Central 1029 and Western 3173 multi-state project station reports served as the foundation for our evaluation. In brief, research opportunities exist to identify new methods and technologies to improve livestock transportation, humane endpoints for emergency depopulation, and management practices enhancing the sustainability footprint of livestock; and there is an urgent need to identify effective preventative measures against heat stress. The investigation of effective methods for species-specific pain assessment and mitigation strategies should continue to be a priority and include the development of alternative practices that avoid pain. Research into genetic markers associated with various aspects of animal wellbeing is growing and offers ample opportunity to improve animal welfare. Animal welfare research also requires scientists to engage with stakeholders to maintain perspective. One example is demonstrated by members of NC 1029 who report engagement in over thirty advisory boards across the supply chain. Through this type of engagement, animal scientists can influence the food supply system and serve as a conduit between social concerns, policy, and science.

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