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A Publication of


From The Ark Number 189 - Winter 2001

Book Review

Animal Welfare, Consciousness, Cognition and Animal Welfare:
proceedings of the UFAW Symposium 11-12 May 2001

Vol 10 Supplement, 2001
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, 15

This is a difficult book to read and review on two counts: first, because it is very scholarly and scientific, which it has every right to be seeing where it comes from!  And secondly, because in order to observe animal behaviour in controlled experiments, some animals had to be hurt.  Now, while I do not for a minute condone the use of animals for experiments to benefit humans, I have mixed feelings when the beneficiaries could be animals themselves.  If conditions on farms, for example, could be improved with this sort of research, then the few would have been sacrificed for the good of the many.

If only they could tell us how they think and feel! But because they can’t, the world’s leading experts in the field came together in May to share their researches.  At the end of many of the chapters (speeches) - with such titles as ‘Attention shifts alter pain peception in the chicken’ and ‘Emotion and successful learning in cattle’ - is a section: ‘Conclusion and animal welfare implications’.

Many of the conclusions seemed to me to be common sense wrapped up in science - such as giving farm animals various stimuli throughout their lives (instead of tethering them up) decreases their stress levels when they are taken on their final journey to the slaughter-house.  Still, if you ever engage in serious academic discourse about animal welfare, this book should be a useful tool.

Return to The Ark No. 189

For questions, comments and submissions, please contact:
Deborah Jones at The Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare

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