There has been a good deal of public interest expressed in recent months in the subject of welfare problems related to selective breeding practices. The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), an independent charity, is bringing together leading scientists, veterinarians and others to address this and related issues in a two-day international symposium to be held at the University of Bristol, June 22nd and 23rd 2009.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ – an auspicious time to consider the impact of natural selection, and of our selective breeding of animals, on their welfare.
What happens to welfare when selection is not for evolutionary fitness but for traits preferred by us in pursuit of the ‘ideal’ companion animal or of greater farm animal production? Where genetic welfare problems have arisen as a consequence of breeding practices, how can these be tackled?
The aim of the symposium, entitled ‘Darwinian selection, selective breeding and the welfare of animals’, is to consider these major welfare issues, with sessions including companion, farm, zoo and free-living animals and an exciting line-up of eminent speakers from around the world.
If you are interested in attending the symposium, the full programme and other details can be found on UFAW’s website (www.ufaw.org.uk) or can be obtained from the UFAW office, telephone 01582 831818, email email@example.com or write to UFAW, The Old School, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Herts AL4 8AN.