Welfare: Applying Science to Practice
Professor Alistair Lawrence
The Scottish Agricultural College
June 20th , 12:00-1:00
Room 1240 Anthony Hall
The Scottish Agricultural College is committed to being a focus
for knowledge transfer to the land-based industries.
We see 2 main 'drivers' for our research on animal welfare: (1)
the widespread, if diffuse, public concern over farm animal welfare;
(b) the commercial pressures which threaten the economic viability
of UK and EU livestock industries. From these drivers we
have distilled 2 science objectives: (a) reducing or eliminating
animal welfare problems by improving the adaptation of animals
to sustainable production environments; (b) the development of
scientifically valid and practical animal welfare assessment tools.
In my presentation I will describe current SAC research in these
(a) Improving adaptation: In the past,
the focus of much welfare research was on improving adaptation
through alteration to the production environment. In recent
years this view has changed considerably and there is now active
discussion of the potential of selective breeding to address welfare
problems by improving adaptation. I will discuss examples
from our own research which illustrate the potential, and some
of the difficulties including ethical issues which arise when
we consider using genetics to address welfare problems.
(b) Animal welfare assessment: We see a
continuing need for development of welfare assessment tools, especially
to meet the demands for scientifically valid methods of assessing
animal welfare under field conditions. We have been validating
a novel approach to welfare assessment, that involves using observers
to provide qualitative descriptors of animal behaviour (e.g. anxious;
confident). Our results suggest that qualitative assessment
has both sufficient scientific validity and practical utility
for use in bridging the 'gap' between scientific and farm animal
Lastly I will briefly describe our research on dairy cow welfare
in which we are integrating both studies of adaptation and welfare
assessment in relation to a range of dairy production environments.
Professor Alistair Lawrence
Alistair Lawrence holds the Chair of Animal Behaviour and Welfare
at SAC. He is responsible for the Department for Animal
Behaviour and Welfare. He sits on the Farm Animal Welfare
Council which advises the UK government on all matters relating
to farm animal welfare. In the past he was the son of a
pig farmer, who studied Zoology (St Andrews University) and gained
a PhD on sheep behaviour (Edinburgh University) under the supervision
of Professor David Wood-Gush.
Adele Douglass (AHA) (View
pdf file) (the
Free Farmed Labeling and Certification Program)
Farmed Certification and Labelling Program
The Free Farmed Certification and Labeling Program is about the
party certification program about farm animal welfare in the USA.
started, what it does, what are the standards about and its success.
There are no producers in Michigan on the program as yet and perhaps
this introduction will encourage Michigan producers to become
part of the program.
Temple Grandin (View
her Bio here)
(View her Michigan Cattlemans's
Link) (Download pdf
Title: Understanding Livestock Behavior &
Methods to Reduce Stress
Has appeared on television shows such as 20/20, 48 Hours, CNN
Larry King Live, and has been featured in People Magazine, the
New York Times, Forbes, and U.S. News and World Report!
Michael Appleby, vice president of farm animals and
sustainable agriculture for the Humane Society of the
United States and Camie Heleski, Coach of the Michigan
State Unversity Animal Welfare Judging Team.
Michael Appleby - Dr. Michael Appleby discussed some
externalities associated with animal production systems and how
they may affect food prices. He explored the similarities between
environmental and animal welfare issues and proposed a working
model to assess the acceptability of current practices in animal
Dr. Appleby, vice president of farm animals and sustainable agriculture
for the Humane Society of the United States, presented a trophy,
commissioned by HSUS to Lynne Millman to Michigan State University
Animal Welfare Judging Team. The team took first place in the
inaugural Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging Competition held
on the MSU campus March 1st/2002.
In addition to the traveling trophy the Humane Society of the
United States donated to Michigan State University Animal Behavior
and Welfare Group funds to further develop the Animal Welfare
Suzanne Millman Humane Society of United States
Contemporary issues and animal agriculture: Are animal scientists
and veterinarians addressing societal concerns? Dr. Millman received
her Ph.D. in applied ethology from the University of Guelph, working
with Dr. Ian Duncan in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science.
Her research investigated extreme aggressiveness in broiler breeder
males. She is currently the Director of Scientific Programs with
the Farm Animal and Sustainable Agriculture section of the HSUS,
the nations largest animal protection organization.
Her responsibilities include raising awareness within the U.S.
academic community about farm animal welfare issues, stimulating
thoughtful discussion about ethical, environmental, and health
issues associated with animal agriculture, and encouraging development
of humane sustainable husbandry systems for farm animals.
Ian Duncan - University of Guelph, Canada
The role of animal scientists in enhancing the field of animal
welfare science. Professor Duncan has a dual appointment at Guelph
in Animal and Poultry sciences and Biomedical Sciences and is
the Chair for Animal Welfare there. He received his Ph.D. from
the University of Edinburgh in 1970, while studying domestic fowl
and goal inaccessibility as it relates to frustration.
He has published over 150 scientific papers and his research program
focuses on developing methods for assessing animal welfare through
the utilization of preference tests and motivation tests. He has
been a frequent keynote address speaker at international meetings.
James Serpell - University of Pennsylvania
Human-animal interactions. Dr. Serpell holds the position of Associate
Professor of Humane Ethics & Animal Welfare at the University
of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. from the University of
Liverpool in 1979. His research has focused on human-animal interactions,
more specifically the benefits of pet ownership on some aspects
of human well-being.
Janice Swanson - Kansas State University
Animal welfare in the USA. Dr. Swanson is an associate professor
at Kansas State University. She has been an active officer for
the International Society of Applied Ethology and is one of only
a handful of preeminent applied animal behavior and welfare researchers
in the United States.
She recently served on the scientific board arranged by McDonalds
to establish welfare guidelines for the layer hen aspect of their
Donald Broom - University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Transportation issues Professor Broom is a professor in Animal
Welfare within the Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine,
University of Cambridge.
He has co-authored the book Stress and Animal Welfare, which is
utilized in many undergraduate animal behavior classes. He has
authored another six books and over 250 scientific articles. He
is a member of the E.U. Scientific Committee on Animal Health
and Animal Welfare.
Georgia Mason - BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow, University
Measuring motivation to assess and improve animal welfare Dr.
Mason is author of one of the most cited applied ethology articles
available, Sterotypies: a critical review.
Her research interests have focused on studying stereotypies,
measuring animal motivation, and looking at how evolved predispositions
have affected animals responses to captivity.
She completed her Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1992 and
has already garnered an impressive resume of published papers
and book chapters, funded projects, and is highly sought after
as an invited speaker.
David Fraser - University of British Columbia, Canada
Moral and ethical constraints associated with the changing nature
of the interaction between humans and animals. Professor Fraser
is a professor with Agricultural Sciences at the University of
British Columbia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of
Glasgow in 1973.
His research in applied animal behavior has covered a wide range
of practical problems from moose-vehicle accidents to the management
of laboratory rodents. He has written many articles and book chapters
on relating ethics and animal welfare.
Kent M.Sc. (Edinburgh)
Validation of methods for the assessment of an acute pain
Dr. Kent graduated with her M.S. from Nottingham University, studying
"The Effects of Road Transportation on Calves" with
Dr. Roger Ewbank. This was followed by 13 years at the Animal
Health Trust in Newmarket, UK developing biochemical diagnostic
techniques for use in horses, in particular immunological techniques
for measuring serum concentrations of acute phase proteins and
immunoglobulins.Dr. Kent is now a senior scientist working, for
the last 12 years, on "The Recognition and Assessment of
Pain in Farmed Livestock" with Professor Vince Molony at
the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh. She
was awarded a Winston Churchill Traveling Scholarship to study
for 3 months welfare issues related to livestock mutilations in
USA and New Zealand and is currently spending 6 weeks at Purdue
University with Dr. D. Lay and colleagues.
"Competitive foraging and visual perspective taking in
Recent research has focused on how livestock productivity and
welfare can be affected by the animals cognitive abilities,
with specific emphasis on pig cognition. In modern production
systems, we constantly and inadvertently present our livestock
with many learning and memory challenges. Knowledge of how much
farm animals understand about their surroundings, how they use
information about their physical environment and about the behavior
and intentions of group mates can help us assess how they may
be negatively or positively affected, both directly and indirectly,
by common husbandry practices. His current work investigates whether
pigs are able to adjust their foraging behavior depending on the
presence or absence of a subordinate, exploitable co-forager that
knows the location of food. Do they understand what others can
and cannot see, and can they use this knowledge to their advantage?
February 27: Dr. Katherine Houpt
Assessment of Equine Welfare:from the horse's mouth and hoof
She is a Professor of Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine,
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY Diplomate, American College of
Abstract: In order to determine the optimal environment
for horses two choice preference tests, operant conditioning using
a progressive ratio of reinforcement, quantitative analysis of
long term video-recording and physiological measurements were
used. Bedding, temperature. light, social conditions, exercise
and diet were investigated. Horse prefer a bright, warm environment
with other horses in direct or,at least,visual contact.They prefer
a soft place to lie.They would rather not be forced to exercise
at gaits faster than a walk and will work to obtain long stem
hay when fed a pelleted diet.
State University Animal Behavior and Welfare Group
We organized the Regional Meeting of the International Society
for Applied Ethology in 1998
June 26-27, 1998 at the Kellogg Center
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