About us

The AHAW Panel provides independent scientific advice on all aspects of animal diseases and animal welfare. Its work chiefly concerns food producing animals, including fish.


The Panel carries out risk assessments in order to produce scientific opinions and advice for risk managers. Its risk assessment approach is based on reviewing scientific information and data in order to evaluate the risks as consequence of a given hazard. This helps to provide a science-based foundation for European policies and legislation and supports risk managers in taking balanced and timely decisions.

How we work

The Panel works independently and transparently to deliver timely scientific opinions/advice of the highest standards to support the policies and decisions of risk managers.

The Panel carries out its work either in response to requests for scientific advice from risk managers or on its own initiative. Most commonly, the European Commission asks EFSA to provide scientific advice on a particular issue. The Panel always undertakes work on the basis of Terms of Reference which guide its approach to each question.

The Panel regularly sets up Working Groups involving external scientists with relevant expertise on specific matters. The Working Group drafts the scientific report (containing the relevant scientific data and the risk assessment if required) that will be the basis for the scientific opinions. The Panel itself meets regularly in plenary sessions to discuss work in progress and to adopt finalised scientific opinions. Each scientific opinion results from a collective decision-making process with every Panel member having an equal say.