Dr. Hans Spoolder

Prof. Hans Spoolder

Senior scientist on animal behaviour and welfare at Wageningen Livestock Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands.


Dr. Hans Spoolder is senior scientist and EU account manager at Wageningen Livestock Research, part of Wageningen University & Research, in The Netherlands.

Hans is an applied ethologist, specializing in issues related to pig welfare, e.g. sow group housing, stereotypies, tail biting, castration and transport and slaughter. He is author or co-author of 155 publications (incl. EFSA opinions), with 1,719 citing articles without self-citations and an h-index of 29 (Web of Science, Aug 2023).

Between July 2013 and August 2019, Hans was the president of the ‘Health & Welfare commission’ of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP). He is currently EAAP Vice-President for Science. Since 2012 he is a member of the Animal Health and Welfare panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and contributed as working group chair to many opinions of the Panel. The most recent one is the scientific opinion on the welfare of pigs on farm (EFSA AHAW Panel, 2022. EFSA Journal 2022; 20(8): 7421, 319 pp. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2022.7421). In March 2018 the European Commission designated the first EU Reference Centre for Animal Welfare (EURCAW), of which he became the Director. The Centre supports the Competent Authorities of the 27 EU member states regarding European pig welfare legislation.

Hans has experience in managing international R&D projects, and is involved as coordinator, deputy-coordinator or project office manager in several EU funded projects over nearly 20 years. At present, this includes the coordination of HealthyLivestock (an EU – China flagship project reducing the need for antimicrobials in pig and broiler production, by improving animal welfare) and mEATquality (an EU funded project on the effects of extensive husbandry on the quality of meat). Finally, Hans is member of the Management Team of the EU Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare. The Partnership has been invited by the European Commission for Grant Preparation, and aims to start in January 2024.