SRUC and JMICAWE co-sponsored a day of talks, discussion and demonstrations of animal welfare research to mark World Animal Day on 4th October. The theme for the event was ‘Celebrating Success in Animal Welfare Science’, focusing on the achievements in improving animal welfare that have been realised over the last 50 years or so of active research in the area.
‘Of course there is still much to be done, but it is worth pausing to reflect on the achievements and improvements in the lives of animals that has occurred through the application of 50 years of animal welfare science,’ said Professor Cathy Dwyer, Director of JMICAWE, on opening the meeting.
Talks covered a range of topics including application of research to reduce confinement in pregnant, farrowing and lactating sows, cage-free systems for laying hens, developments in positive welfare, welfare of working equids, combining animal and human welfare improvements in sub-Saharan African small ruminant production and tickling rats. During lunch time there was an opportunity to learn more about the applications of new technology to assessing animal behaviour and welfare, and to visit the clinical skills labs at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. The day was attended by over 200 students, staff and government, policy and NGO representatives. The feedback has been universally positive, with several actively anticipating the next event, and recordings of the presentations will be available via the JMICAWE website very soon.