AVC Animal Welfare in Practice conference focuses on equine behaviour

Posted: 
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Dr. Gemma Pearson clicker-trains a horse.

How do horses learn? How can we use that understanding to the mutual benefit of horses and those who work with them? Applied equine behaviour is the focus of the Atlantic Veterinary College’s 2015 Animal Welfare in Practice conference, which will take place from September 18 to 19.

Dr. Gemma Pearson, Equine Behaviour Service, Dick Vet Equine Hospital, University of Edinburgh, will give a public lecture, “Demystifying the horse whisperer—how horses really learn,” on Friday, September 18, at 7 p.m. She has been working with behaviour cases for over 15 years; she is currently conducting research into horse-veterinarian interactions. Her lecture will take place in the Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, UPEI.
On Saturday, September 19, Pearson will give two lectures, one covering equine learning theory, and the other about applying learning theory to everyday veterinary practice. Dr. Laurie McDuffee, professor of large animal surgery at AVC, will give a talk about higher level equine cognition. McDuffee is studying equine learning theory and its incorporation to promote humane handling of equine patients. Following the talks will be a session of video scenarios about equine behaviour with audience participation, and a demonstration about overcoming problematic behaviours and practice with clicker training.

The public lecture on Friday, September 18, is free. Registration is required to attend the workshops on Saturday, September 19; the Saturday events will be held in AVC’s Lecture Theatre A. Please visit upei.ca/awc or call (902) 628-4360 for program details and registration information.

The conference is co-hosted by the SJDAWC and the AVC Animal Welfare Club, with generous additional support from the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada.

Anna MacDonald
External Relations Officer
Department: 
Atlantic Veterinary College
Phone: 
(902) 566-6786
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