What is the welfare of elephants housed in zoos and do fish experience pain? These are two topics of an international animal behaviour and welfare conference taking place in Bristol next week.
More than 350 delegates from around the world will attend the 40th International Congress of the International Society For Applied Ethology hosted by Bristol University from Tuesday 8 to Saturday 12 August.
The conference will bring together many academics whose common interest is studying animal behaviour and ensuring the welfare standards of all animals throughout the planet.
The range of animal species that will feature at the meeting include mice, rats, budgerigars, cats, dogs, pigs and elephants, and will cover a range of subjects for this year's theme, 'Applying ethology: links between fundamental and applied research.'
The conference will tackle a number of issues including the first study ever to evaluate the health, welfare and housing of elephants in UK zoos. There are 13 zoos and safari parks in the UK who house Asiatic and African elephants. This is just one of a number of studies on elephants that will be presented.
There will also be presentations on laboratory rats and whether the way they are cared for affects their sleeping behaviour and health and the welfare of kennelled working police dogs and if the presence of a human watching them and the time they were observed changes their behaviour.
The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Peter Abraham will open the conference, followed by the D G M Memorial Lecture, entitled 'Is there a future for applied ethology' by Professor Alistair Lawrence Head of Animal Welfare at the Scottish Agricultural College.
Dr Chris Sherwin, Senior Research Fellow in Animal Behaviour and Welfare in the Division of Clinical Veterinary Science at Bristol University and the conference organiser, said: "We are delighted to be holding such an important conference in Bristol. The University has the largest animal behaviour and welfare group in the world with a highly regarded international reputation. The range of animal species and topics studied by the group is immense, ranging from studies on the motivation of flies to the welfare of whales."
The 40th International Congress of the International Society For Applied Ethology will take place from Tuesday 8 August until Saturday 12 August at the University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol.
For details on the conference together with a programme go to http://www.isae2006.co.uk/oral.htm
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Peter Abraham, will open the congress at 9 am on Wednesday 9 August. The D G M Memorial Lecture entitled, Is there a future for applied ethology by Professor Alistair Lawrence Head of Animal Welfare at the Scottish Agricultural College will following the opening at 9.30 am.
Using selective attention strategies to understand the importance of the subjective painful experience in fish will be given on Saturday 12 August at 3.15 pm by Dr Lynne Sneddon, NERC Fellow, Lecturer in Marine Biology and member of the Population and Evolutionary Biology Research Division at Liverpool University.
Assessing the welfare, housing and husbandry of elephants in UK zoos will be given on Saturday 12 August at 5 pm by Dr Moira Harris, Research Associate in Elephant Welfare, Farm Animal Science at Bristol University.
Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the conference.
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