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Zagreb to Host 2015 Animal Welfare Conference

23 September 2014

CROATIA - The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) is to hold its 2015 conference with the theme 'Animal Populations – World Resources and Animal Welfare' in Zagreb on 14 and 15 July 2015. The closing date to submit a title and abstract for consideration is 26 November 2014.

Humans and their kept animals (farm and companion animals) comprise the larger part of the world's vertebrate biomass. The world’s resources are limited, and as humans use more of these, fewer resources are available for wild and other animals. Whether like it or not, we humans now control or greatly influence the population sizes of many, and perhaps all, other vertebrate species, and decisions that we make to keep more of some species, e.g., domestic, and farm animals have implications on the numbers and welfare of animals of other species that the world can support.

How do we apportion resources between kept and wild animals? How do we balance the welfare interests of one species against that of another? Modern veterinary science enables us to keep a high proportion of animals alive to old age (when we wish it), but these occupy niches that would otherwise have been filled by young replacements: but is fewer long-lived animals better than more short-lived ones? Little effort seems to have been made to address how such balances should be struck. It appears that it is time to try to decide how many of which animals we want and how to achieve that most humanely.

This meeting will consider issues surrounding the rationales and methodologies of humane control of animal populations (kept and free-living) in pursuit of preserving biodiversity and minimising welfare risks to animals.

The following speakers have already been confirmed:

  • Professor Donald Broom (University of Cambridge, UK) ‘New directions for sustainable animal production systems and the role of animal welfare’
  • Professor David Fraser (University of British Columbia, Canada) ‘Cars, cats, climate change and other neglected problems of animal welfare’
  • Professor David Macdonald (University of Oxford, UK) ‘Animal welfare: From rough trade to compassionate conservation’
  • Professor Frauke Ohl (University of Utrecht, The Netherlands) ‘Considering animal welfare: Does context matter?’

Contributing to the symposium

UFAW is inviting further contributions to the symposium on subjects related to the theme of humane control of animal populations. Areas that we would be interested in this conference addressing include, but are not limited to, contributions relating to:

  • Domestic animal/wildlife conflicts, e.g. feral dogs, domestic cats
  • Welfare aspects of husbandry changes made to reduce livestock greenhouse gas emissions
  • Humane control of invasive vertebrates
  • The implications for wildlife and their resources of maintaining unwanted domesticated animals
  • Humane reintroductions
  • How do we take decisions regarding the fate of animals that are no longer needed such as research animals, zoo animals?
  • Farmed livestock population management – how many is enough?

Please submit a title and abstract for consideration by email to Dr Stephen Wickens (wickens@ufaw.org.uk) before Wednesday 26 November 2014. Both oral and poster presentations will be accepted. Abstracts of all accepted talks and posters will be placed on UFAW’s website in advance of the symposium. Further details on how to format the abstract can be found on the symposium web page.

Further details on the symposium, including a registration form and booking accommodation can be found on the UFAW web site: www.ufaw.org.uk/zagreb2015.php.

ThePigSite News Desk



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