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“The welfare of any sentient animal is determined by its individual perception of its own physical and emotional state. This applies equally to the huge population of food animals as to the pets on whom we lavish individual attention. Increasing public concern for action to improve animal welfare has generated the demand for animal welfare science that seeks to improve our understanding of the nature of animal emotions and motivation, and from this, improve the quality of our care.” – John Webster In the midst of this ever growing conversation about how and why animals “matter” to us, the way we think about, work with, study or interact with animals is changing along with our standards for animal husbandry. Our focus has increased from attending to simple biological needs to attempting to allow for emotional needs and natural behaviors. We now acknowledge that good animal care is more than making sure an animal is fed, sheltered and disease free; we take into account the individual experience of an animal in their environment (“animal welfare”)- making sure animals have what they want and need. We weigh our own interactions with animals (“human animal relationship”) into the welfare equation. We quantify and measure how to make sure our newer standards are put into effect, we have “five freedoms” and “five domains,” among other categories, lists, charts and checklists, all meticulously documented, carefully researched and exemplified so they are ready to go. But how do we make all this happen in real life? How do we go beyond sheer theory: the very idea that animal welfare does matter for the animals and for us? How do we mainstream the scientific studies that show us the relationships that increased welfare makes for healthier animals and better outcomes into recognition and practice that applying these standards works? Most importantly, how do we go from the talking to the doing? How does all this get done in the everyday world of the work, chores and tasks that need doing for the farmhand, the stockperson, the zookeeper, the dog or horse trainer, the dog groomer or pet sitter? Objective - Learn what animal welfare is -Learn about advances in animal welfare science including the "three R's", Five Freedoms and "Five Domanin -Learn how this applies to companion animals -Learn how to apply animal welfare standards for every animal, every day
Speaker(s):Frania Shelley-Grielen M.A., M.U.P.