11 July 2014 – Temple Grandin, the world renowned expert on animal behaviour, today gave a characteristically stimulating talk to more than 100 students, faculty staff and members of the general public at the Royal Veterinary College’s Centre for Animal Welfare. The event, organized by CABI and RVC was entitled ‘Improving Animal Welfare’ and in it Temple outlined key strategies for developing humane handling systems for livestock processing facilities.
She called for “measureable, not vague” minimum standards of animal welfare, saying that, “Maintaining high standards of animal welfare requires continuous measurement. It prevents the bad from becoming normal."
Talking about the need to acclimatise animals to handling in order to reduce their stress, she continued that, “First experiences with new people, places or equipment must be good.” She explained that, “Animals 'watch' with their ears for potential danger," and that, “Animals going to the slaughter plant are afraid of little things people don't notice.” She pointed out that, "Calm animals have better weight gain."
Temple also presented the new edition of her book Livestock Handling and Transport. In the book, she covers subjects including the humane handling of livestock, the minimization of animal stress, the latest research on transport systems, restraint methods and facilities for farms and slaughterhouses. Covering cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, deer and horses in both the developed and developing world, her new book also includes information on animal handling in South America and extensive new research on pig transportation in North America.
Listed in Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people, Temple Grandin is a world renowned expert on animal behaviour and campaigner on autism. She is based at the University of Colorado, and her work on humane handling systems for livestock processing facilities has led to major improvements in animal welfare throughout the world. Her life was portrayed in an award winning feature film starring Claire Danes as Temple.
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