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    International animal behaviour society returns to Harper Adams for regional conference

    Posted 10 February 2023

    The Harper Adams campus

    An international society which focuses on the applied study of animal behaviour is to return to Harper Adams University for its UK and Ireland regional conference.

    The International Society for Applied Ethology – which is the leading professional association for people interested in the behaviour and welfare of managed or domesticated animals, including companion, farm, zoo and managed wild animal species – will be holding their UK and Ireland Regional conference at the University on April 27.

    The conference will include a keynote presentation from Professor Francoise Wemelsfelder. Professor Wemelsfelder will discuss animal sentience and highlight the need for positive animal welfare to be included in welfare assessments, as well as explaining how she worked with retailer Waitrose to include animals’ emotional well-being in its supply chain standards of animal welfare.

    Those hoping to attend the conference can book here by April 14. There is financial support available for ISAE members. For further detail please contact Dr Ellen Williams on

    Preceding the conference, on April 26, the University is also set to host a workshop funded by the Animal Welfare Research Network (AWRN).

    The AWRN aims to bring together the UK animal welfare research community including researchers in related areas and stakeholders with interests in animal welfare, to identify important research topics, increase collaboration, and support and encourage further research.

    The workshop will specifically focus on bringing together researchers across a range of disciplines and sectors - including those working with farm, zoo and companion animals - to foster collaborative approaches to better understand the animal welfare implications of human-animal and machine-animal interactions. It will feature guest speakers from the UK and Europe, including Dr Christian Nawroth, Professor Clara Mancini, Dr Joseph Neary and Dr Samantha Ward.

    Throughout the day, workshop attendees will examine what these interactions mean for animals, what makes a positive interaction with humans, and what the implications may be when human interactions are replaced with machines – with the resulting discussions set to be turned into a research paper. The workshop is open only to AWRN members. AWRN members can register for the conference here. For those wishing to become a member of the AWRN, further details can be found here.

    Among the Harper Adams staff who will be taking part in both days are Professor Mark Rutter – who is currently serving as President of ISAE; Dr Ellen Williams, who is ISAE UK and Ireland Regional Secretary; Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare Dr Gemma Charlton; Animal Science Lecturer Jen Sadler, and Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare Dr Annabelle Beaver.

    Professor Rutter said: “I’m delighted to see Harper Adams University once again hosting the ISAE UK and Ireland Regional meeting. The society has a federal structure, with over 600 members in thirteen regions around the world. Our regional meetings are an important way for the ISAE to meet its main objective: to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of advances in applied animal behaviour science.”

    And Dr Williams added: “It’s a really exciting opportunity for us to spend two days focused on applied animal behaviour and animal welfare, and especially thinking about where these fit in the future directions of the zoo, farm and companion animal industries.

    “We have been lucky to have the support of some fantastic keynote speakers for both the AWRN workshop and the ISAE conference, and I am really looking forward to seeing lots of colleagues and collaborators, and providing the opportunity for future collaborations to develop during the meetings.

    “Thanks to the generosity of the AWRN and the ISAE we are also able to financially support some attendees through travel budgets, which we feel is particularly important in the current climate.

    “I’d like to thank both the AWRN and the ISAE for offering us this opportunity!”

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