Livestock farming is an important pillar of European agriculture, in Germany more than 200 million animals are permanently kept. At the European Union level, animal welfare policies have been developing since the 1970s. However, national regulations vary considerably between member states. A systematic comparative analysis of factors that influence these differences in national farm animal welfare policies has yet to be carried out. In my recent study, published in the Journal of Common Market Studies, I address this research gap by applying theories from comparative policy analysis. I find that societal concerns and partisan politics can contribute to the understanding of varying animal welfare policies. My results contribute to the exploration of a hitherto under-researched area in public policy, the field of farm animal welfare.