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From 6 March 2005 Issue

Landmark International Conference

Sheep can recognise at least 50 flock mates: they are able to think about them when they are absent. Elephants mourn their dead, sometimes placing their bones in one spot. N’Kisi the parrot knows 1,000 words and creates grammatically correct phrases to communicate with humans. Lizards can sense pleasure, wood mice create “signposts” from sticks and stones to guide each other, pigs can use deceit to gain advantages…

Scientist after scientist is discovering what many pet and animal keepers have believed for years: that animals are thinking, feeling, sentient beings who, to a greater or lesser extent, experience emotions just like us - even those once considered uniquely human, such as joy, love and grief. Now a ground-breaking international conference organised by the Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) Trust is to explore astonishing discoveries about the depths of animal sentience and examine the profound effects these might have on the way we treat non-human species.

“From Darwin to Dawkins: The Science and Implications of Animal Sentience” is being held at London’s prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on 17-18 March 2005. Speakers include the world’s foremost experts in animal science and leading names in agriculture and food, conservation, government policy, education, philosophy and ethics - people who collectively play a key role in the setting of world standards on animal welfare. A keynote address will be given by renowned primatologist Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Delegates from 43 nations will hear how our rapidly increasing awareness of animal sentience might affect all areas of human life, from farming to retailing and government policy - and also the ways in which these may have to change.

Joyce D’Silva, CEO of the CIWF Trust, says: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to the conference: one European government alone is sending 30 delegates. But we’re even more pleased with the impact the conference is set to have globally. It places animal sentience firmly on the global agenda. It’s a subject that all governments and businesses will have to address, not least because consumer concern about the treatment of animals will more and more influence spending patterns in the coming decades.”

This is a unique conference and will provide a wide range of news and feature material. For information about speakers and their work, requests for interviews, details of how to attend and further general information please contact:
Carol McKenna, conference press officer on +44 (0) 1962 793003, mobile: 07979 805169 or email: carolmckenn@aol.com 

For detailed information of the event, full programme and speakers biographies visit:
www.ciwf.org/conference2005

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