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Recent Advances in Animal Welfare Science III

PelicansUFAW Animal Welfare Conference

21st June 2012
York Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, UK


As animal welfare science has established itself as an area of legitimate and recognised scientific inquiry, there has been an increase in the number of opportunities for those working in this interdisciplinary area to share their findings with others, eg as part of meetings on applied ethology or veterinary science. Nonetheless, the UFAW ‘Recent advances in animal welfare science’ conferences remain one of the few that provides a forum for all those with an interest in animal welfare, whatever their specific area of study. To encourage attendance, especially from those who are beginning to contribute to our better understanding of animals and their needs, the cost of attending these conferences is kept as low as we are able. Through this inclusivity, UFAW hopes that best practice and imaginative and novel methods of inquiry can be shared and new approaches to long-standing areas of concern arrived at.

The third of these one day conferences was held at the York Merchant Adventurers’ Hall on the 21st June. 170 delegates from 13 countries, including Australia, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Finland and France, attended the conference, which featured talks on the welfare of both laying and broiler chickens (both continuing on-going areas of concern), the assessment of the relative humaneness of different vertebrate pest control methods in the UK and the development of a means of assessing pain in mice using facial cues, amongst others. In addition, the conference featured posters on a diverse range of subjects. Of particular relevance to UFAW’s companion animal genetic health website, was the talk from Rowena Packer (RVC) who presented the findings of her investigation into the impact of exaggerated back length on the welfare of dog breeds. This showed that those breeds that had the most extreme ratios of leg to back length, such as Dachshund, had a significantly higher risk of suffering disc herniation; this is where the intervertebral discs found between the bones of the spine becomes displaced into the spinal cord and can lead to pain and weakness or paralysis of the hindlimbs.

We would like to thank all those who contributed to the meeting and helped make it a success and those who kindly agreed to chair a session. We would also like to thank the staff of the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall for providing such a memorable venue.

Click here to download the Speaker and Poster Abstracts booklet