International Society for Applied Ethology 2018 Congress takes place at UPEI

Only the second time that the Congress has been held in Canada
Friday, July 27, 2018

Approximately 280 experts in animal behaviour and welfare from 27 countries will participate in the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) 2018 Congress at the University of Prince Edward Island from July 30 to August 3.

The opening ceremony of the conference will take place on Tuesday, July 31, from 9:00–9:30 a.m. in the Duffy Science Centre Amphitheatre.

The Congress will bring together ethological and veterinary research under the theme, “Ethology for health and welfare,” with a specific session on veterinary aspects of ethology and welfare. The detailed program can be found at

Of particular note are three presentations on Tuesday, July 31, in the Duffy Science Centre Amphitheatre. Immediately following the opening ceremony is the Wood-Gush Memorial Lecture by Stevan Harnad, professor of psychology at Université du Québec à Montréal. In his lecture entitled “The Other-Minds Problem in Other Species,” he will discuss the difficulty in studying the feelings of animals and the implications of animal sentience on the use of animals in society.

At 2:30 p.m., Temple Grandin, world-renowned animal scientist who has successfully applied research on animal behaviour to methods of handling and slaughter, will give a plenary talk on how to apply academic research on animal behaviour to commercial farms and slaughter plants.

And at 3:15 p.m., Jackie Wepruk, general manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council, will explain how research on animal behaviour is integrated into the national codes of practice written by livestock commodity groups.

During the conference, there will be 117 oral presentations and 89 poster presentations. Topics cover behaviour and welfare of many species, including horses, cattle, companion animals, laying hens, swine, sheep and goats, wildlife, and laboratory animals. A sampling of topics includes the ability of animals to evaluate technology such as virtual fencing; brain imaging to visualise neural activity associated with emotions in sheep; problems in using aversive dog training methods; the impairment of memory in dogs because of osteoarthritis; factors affecting fighting in pigs; different types of play behaviour in animals; and effects of zoo visitors on penguins.

About the ISAE:
The 700-member ISAE is the leading scientific society for the study of the behaviour and welfare of confined or domesticated animals, including companion, farm, zoo, and managed wild animals. This will be only the second time that the congress will be held in Canada and only the fifth time in North America. Over the last 50 plus years, the ISAE has facilitated a major expansion of diverse research on applied ethology and has contributed to an increased understanding of animal welfare. Members of the ISAE provide scientific expertise on committees and working groups, such as the National Farm Animal Care Council, that make recommendations on legislation, codes of practice, and guidelines designed to improve animal welfare.

Anna MacDonald
AVC External Relations Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College
(902) 566-6786
Contact UPEI