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Top Welfare Award for Dr McGreevey

by 5m Editor
15 April 2009, at 8:21am

UK - Dr Paul McGreevy is the recipient of the 2009 prestigious BSAS/RSPCA Award, presented for innovative developments in animal welfare.


Julia Wrathall receives the BSAS/RSPCA Award on behalf of Dr McGreevy from Professor Jamie Newbold

The award is given to Paul for his "outstanding contribution and commitment to improving animal welfare through scientific research, teaching and writing, particular in the areas of dog and horse behaviour and husbandry."

Paul McGreevy is recognised as one of the world's leading experts on companion animal behaviour and welfare. His most significant studies have included investigating the prevalence of abnormal behaviours and stereotypies in horses in relation to stabling and the effects of observational learning on food selection in horses. He has discovered how the digestive efficiency, behaviour and gut transit times of horses change as a result of crib-biting. These findings are critical in helping to explain the functional significance of equine stereotypies.

He has discovered a relationship between the distribution of retinal ganglion cells and nose length in the dog, and hence that different breeds have different visual fields, a finding that has profound implications for dog trainers, handlers and keepers since all dogs cannot be expected to perceive the same visual stimuli or respond to the world in the same way. He has recently demonstrated the same relationship in horses.

Dr McGreevy has also made a significant contribution to teaching animal welfare and has produced a great deal of innovative teaching material including books on animal-human interaction aimed at children. He is renowned for approaches to facilitating learning at all ages.

The award was announced by Professor Jamie Newbold, President of the BSAS, at its Annual Meeting recently. He commented, "I am delighted that the two Societies have recognised the important contribution that Paul's work has made and will continue to make on horse and dog behaviour and welfare.

He concluded by commenting that, "The BSAS/RSPCA relationship is a very important one as it underlines the importance of using good science in improving welfare standards. This is important in both the companion animal area and livestock production systems in order that changes are meaningful from the animals' point of view."

Dr McGreevy is Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, and Associate Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney and will be presented with the award in June this year when he visits the UK.