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RSPCA Australia Scientific Seminar

When coping isn’t enough – Promoting positive welfare states in animals

Tuesday 26 February 2013

National Convention Centre, Canberra

How do we measure and promote an animal’s welfare state? Is the state of ‘coping’ still enough to ensure quality of life?

The RSPCA Australia Scientific Seminar will tomorrow see leading experts from across the globe come together to explore these questions and the latest developments in animal welfare research, knowledge and practices.

Recent developments and the future of animal welfare science and assessment will be a key topic of discussion at what is set to be a thought- provoking and lively debate.

The Seminar will be chaired by Professor David Mellor, Co-Director of the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre at Massey University in New Zealand.

Keynote speaker Dr James Yeates, Chief Veterinary Officer at RSPCA UK, and Chair of the British Veterinary Association Ethics and Welfare Group will ask - How happy does a happy animal have to be (and how can we tell)? – and challenge the thinking on the concept of animal welfare assessment and the promotion of positive welfare states in animals.

“Recent years have seen the beginning of a wider conceptualisation of animal welfare, to include ‘positive’ states,” says Dr James Yeates.

“Such concepts allow us to move forward from a situation where we are merely neutralising negative states to one where we are promoting positive welfare states in animals.” 

Other presentations will include:

  • Coping, cognition and quality of life improvement – Professor David Mellor, Co-Director, Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, Massey University, NZ
  • Emotional experiences of dogs and cats restricted to or from backyards – Robert Holmes, Principal, Animal Behaviour Clinics
  • Working like a dog – affectively – Mia Cobb, Canine Welfare Scientist, Monash University
  • Achieving positive animal welfare outcomes in zoos and aquariums – Tim Portas, Zoo & Wildlife Veterinary Consultancy
  • Identifying and integrating measures of farm animal welfare that meet the needs of animals and society – Drewe Ferguson, Research Scientist, CSIRO Livestock Industries

 See the Scientific Seminar Program (PDF copy in main MR 2013 folder) for further information on speakers and presentations.

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