July 22nd 2010 ~ "We need a dialogue between the industry and the critics, as a basis for sound policy and practices": Prof Dr David Fraser
Professor Fraser, who lectures in animal welfare at the University of British Columbia, was interviewed on Vetsweb yesterday. He is concerned that food production industries should take steps in the area of animal welfare and husbandry that are in their own long-term interest and that these considerations should be part of the scientific agenda. Very well aware of changing public attitudes to such things as intensive methods of farming he points out that recent research into animal cognition and emotion has "narrowed the gap that we perceive between ourselves and other species". He discusses how the present polarised conflict between factory farmers and their critics might be resolved:
".. We need a good dialogue to prevent two camps forming here. ..each side is tending to ignore the concerns of the other. So we have to find solutions that allow the animals to live in a sufficiently 'natural' way... that also incorporate good disease prevention, treatment, protection from injuries, protection from harsh weather and so on. .."He feels that "some of the current science being applied to animal welfare issues...can help to put animal welfare standards on a solid basis." Read interview.
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