Rosalind Dixon Memorial Scholarship for Farm Animal Welfare Research awarded to two promising animal welfare researchers
In its opening year, the Humane Society International (HSI) and University of Queensland Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics (CAWE) Rosalind Dixon Memorial Scholarship for Farm Animal Welfare Research has been awarded to two promising animal welfare researchers whose work will optimistically bring great improvements in reducing the impacts of intensive farming and eliminating such practices which inhibit natural animal behaviours.
Dr Samantha Bickell, of the School of Animal Biology at the University of Western Australia, was awarded a grant for research into ‘Improving sheep welfare in feedlots by improving the behaviour and attitudes of the stockperson.’
“The Roz Dixon Memorial Scholarship will help me determine whether sheep welfare can be improved by training stockpeople to handle their animals better and according to the animal's natural behaviour.” Explains scholarship recipient, Dr Bickell. “I believe that we must train people that handle sheep not to induce fear."
Mr Eduardo Santurtun, of the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland, was awarded a grant for research into the ‘Effects of sea transport motion on sheep stress levels.’
“We are very enthusiastic about the two research areas which the Rosalind Dixon Scholarship will be contributing to,” stated Verna Simpson, HSI Director. “Supporting such academic research, which will contribute to improving farm animal welfare policies, is a key objective for HSI and we believe Dr Bickell and Mr Santurtun’s work will contribute substantially.”
“This generous donation will enable some of our brightest young scientists to investigate the welfare impact of intensive livestock management,” stated Professor Clive Phillips, Director of the UQ Centre for Animal welfare and Ethics. “Good stockmanship is crucial in improving sheep welfare, and Samantha Bickell’s work to find ways of ensuring this in intensive sheep management should bring great benefits. Similarly, Eduardo Santurtun’s research to identify how a ship’s motion affects stress levels in sheep will help us to understand the impact of long distance transport on their welfare. These awards are very important in providing independent research funding for welfare topics.”
The scholarship was donated by Garth Dixon, in memory of his wife Rosalind Dixon. Mr and Mrs Dixon have made a long-standing contribution to the preservation of native vegetation in NSW.
“I would like to think that the scholarship I have established in honour of Rosalind is offering a helping hand to the people who are working for more humane care of intensively farmed animals,” Mr Dixon said.