Recent advances in animal welfare science V

crowd of chickensRecent advances in animal welfare science V

UFAW Animal Welfare Conference
23rd June 2016 
York Merchant Adventurers' Hall, UK


Animal welfare and its science is a multi-disciplinary field that attracts interest from veterinarians, neuroscientists, animal technicians, geographers, agriculturalists, ethicists, lawyers, physiologists and psychologists amongst others in addition to those who working directly with and care for animals and animal welfare scientists themselves. The now established biennial UFAW ‘Recent advances in animal welfare science’ conferences - this being the fifth - offer an opportunity for this extended international ‘family’ to come together and discuss their work and thoughts and to keep abreast of new insights and approaches to better understanding and caring for animals. The growing interest and engagement in animal welfare is demonstrated by the fact that delegates travelled from 19 countries - including Nigeria, Australia, Chile, Canada, Lithuanuia, Germany and Pakistan – to attend this one day meeting that featured its greatest ever number of talks and poster presentations.

In York’s packed medieval Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, delegates listened to talks on a wide range of subjects from the psychological harm caused by large-scale commercial breeding practices to adult breeder dogs and their puppies (Franklin McMillan, Best Friends Animal Society, USA) and a neurobiological assessment of the effect of early weaning on the well-being of macaques (Colline Poirier, Newcastle University, UK) to developing a practical screening tool for chronic stress in farm livestock (Fabio Gualtieri, Newcastle University, UK) . In addition to such talks that addressed practical concerns there were also others that considered some of the fundamental concepts that lie behind our concern for animals eg animal sentience (Elizabeth Paul, University of Bristol, UK) and challenges of measuring welfare in an individual and not losing sight of their needs when considering large populations of animals (Lisa Collins, University of Lincoln, UK).

Since their inception, these conferences have also sought especially to offer early career researchers a platform, alongside their more established colleagues, from which they could present their work. This year was no exception with many presenting their work for the first time.

The range of species and topics covered was further added to by the many posters displayed at the meeting. A full list of speakers and poster presentations and abstracts can be found by clicking on the ‘Related Link’ to the right

Many thanks to all those who contributed to the meeting, whether as a speaker, poster presenter or chair of a session.

The conference is being held in York, in the medieval Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate YO1 9XD, UK. Located next to the pedestrianised centre of York and built in 1357, the timbered Hall and Undercroft make up one of the best preserved medieval Guild Halls in the world.Travel information can be found here and downloadable maps of York here. A map of the area surrounding the Merchant Adventurers’ here.
Background to UFAW:
UFAW, the International Animal Welfare Science Society, is an independent, scientific and educational animal welfare charity. The organization promotes high standards of welfare for farm, companion, laboratory and captive wild animals and those with which we interact in the wild.
Any questions about the conference should be directed to: Dr Stephen Wickens, Development Officer, UFAW, The Old School, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, AL4 8AN, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1582 831818; Fax: +44 (0) 1582 831414; Website:; Email: