Thursday, 9 March 2017
Humans are key to improving animal welfare, says Professor Temple Grandin on her recent Edinburgh visit
Humans are key to improving animal welfare
SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and JMICAWE were delighted and honoured to host a visit by Professor Temple Grandin of Colorado State University to Edinburgh in February.
Professor Grandin is a renowned writer on animal welfare, stockmanship and livestock handling, as well as on her experiences of living with autism, and has been a major contributor to improving animal welfare, especially in the USA, for 40 years. She has recently been inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in USA.
During her visit Temple gave a riveting lecture to a packed auditorium of staff and students from SRUC and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in the Roslin Institute. She shared her unique insights into how animals perceive the world, and how this knowledge can be used to improve ease of handling and livestock welfare. She reiterated her views, based on her long experiences in the field, that ‘things’ (handling systems, engineering products, genetics) would not improve animal welfare without improving stockmanship and how people respond to the animals in their care.
Temple has also been very involved in the improvements in animal welfare assessment in the USA, and was clear that these systems worked when the measures were simple, clearly related to the most important animal welfare issues (her ‘critical control points’), and easy to apply in practice.
The feedback on her talk has been extremely positive and students were inspired by her passion and dedication to animal welfare. They were also delighted to be able to interact with her on visits to the vet school and in discussing and presenting their own research. Temple was extremely generous with her time, signing books and posing for photos, and engaging with the research of our PhD students and early career researchers. At the end of her visit we were all left in awe of this great woman, but also inspired and energised to continue to work for improving animal welfare.
A copy of Temple’s seminar will be available soon if you follow this link https://www.sruc.ac.uk/news/article/1802/world_leading_animal_welfare_expert_temple_grandin_speaks_at_sruc_seminar