UFAW Symposium ‘Measuring animal welfare and applying scientific advances – Why is it still so difficult?’


A new Symposium of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) was announced and will take placeĀ at the Royal Holloway, University of London (Surrey, UK) next July (27-29th).

The UFAW, international animal welfare science society, is an independent UK registered scientific and educational animal welfare charity. The organisation brings together the animal welfare science community, educators, veterinary surgeons and all concerned about animal welfare worldwide in order to achieve advances in the well-being of farm, companion, laboratory and captive wild animals, and for those animals with which we interact in the wild.

Animal welfare science is a relatively young field but it is developing rapidly. There seems to be a growing consensus that what matters to those animals that are presumed to experience feelings, and therefore what should matter most to those concerned about animal welfare, is how those animals feel. However, this raises difficult questions, some of which are fundamental to the development of animal welfare science as a rigorous scientific discipline and the assessment of animal welfare.

The main issues that will be explored will be how to demonstrate sentience in animals and how their emotional state could influence welfare.

With the aim of developing new ideas and of promoting higher quality and better-focused animal welfare science, this three day symposium will consider whether and how animal welfare scientists can make progress in these and other areas.