Student Essays

Student Essays


In 2004, RSPCA Australia established two perpetual prizes for the best essays on poultry and pig welfare science for students studying veterinary science or animal and veterinary bioscience at the University of Sydney.

As part of their coursework in animal behaviour and animal welfare science, every student is required to submit an essay for assessment. The challenge is to describe animal welfare science developments (for any single species) that have been published in the previous 12 months.

The RSPCA is delighted to have this opportunity to encourage students to examine recent developments in farm animal welfare science with the aim of enhancing the welfare of pigs and poultry.

You can read the prize-winning essays on Use the ‘search this site’ function to find the essay you are interested in.

Essay prize winners

Year Recipient Essay
2015 Dominique Chan Can variations in lighting and nutrition reduce feather pecking in broilers?
  Shelley Wo Developments in the use of meloxicam as pre-operative pain relief during surgical castration of piglets
2014 Emma Hall The impact of photoperiod on the health and welfare of broiler chickens
  Nickala Elin The welfare implications of tail biting in pigs
2013 Ellie Mowle Non-environmental Factors Influencing Tail Biting Behaviours in Domestic Pigs
  Holly Stone The effect of Keel Bone Fractures on the Welfare of Free-range Laying Hens and an Alteration in the Belief that providing Aerial Perches increases the Risk of these Fractures
2012 Lisa Kennedy Discusses newly developed, non-surgical methods as alternatives to beak trimming to prevent injurious feather pecking
  Caitlin Connor Advances in the use of immunocastration as an alternative to surgical castration in male pigs
2011 Kate Drew An exploration of Animal Welfare Improvements that may be gained for Farmed Chickens by Adopting Alternative Slaughter technologies
  Kasumi Yoshimura Piglets and Weaning: Improving Welfare of Piglets by means of Diet and Environment
2010 Joseph Tai Pham The predictability of feather pecking and potential methods of eliminating and mitigating its impacts
  Max Tori Decreasing Stress, Aggression and Injury in Pigs housed in Intensive Production Systems
2009 Karen Smith Reducing the Incidence of Tail-biting in Weaned Pigs
  Monika Ling Can Changes in Housing Conditions Reduce the Incidence of Feather-pecking in Laying Hens?
2008 Liisa Poyer The Welfare Benefits of Loose-farrowing Systems
  Matilda Craig Feather Pecking in Laying Hens: Causes and Solutions
2007 Lawrence Baker Welfare-enhanced stockmanship and feeding systems for group-housed gestating sows
  Philippa Crowter Feather pecking in layer hens
2006 Briar Morton Improving the housing of laying hens to enhance welfare
  Catherine Moss Harmful social behaviours in pigs - is environmental enrichment the solution?
2005 Sally-Anne Debney Minimising aggressive behaviour between pigs confined in intensive production systems
  Anne Scheving Intensive housing of laying hens: a welfare issue