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July 31, 2012

HSI Awards Student Scholarships for Farm Animal Welfare Research

Humane Society International

  • The play behavior of calves is one area of study. istock

WASHINGTON — Humane Society International congratulates its travel award winners for this year’s 46th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology.

HSI selected four student winners from around the globe to receive up to $1,500 each in grants covering travel costs to and from the conference, which focuses on exploring the behavior of domesticated or confined animals and the improvement of their welfare. The conference takes place July 31 – Aug. 4 at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria.

The 2012 HSI Travel Award recipients are Melissa Elischer of Michigan State University, United States; Michala Melišová of the Agricultural University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic; Giuliana Miguel Pacheco of the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; and Anne Marie Gilani of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.

“Humane Society International is pleased to announce this year’s student travel award winners,” said Chetana Mirle, director, Farm Animal Welfare, HSI. “Their contributions to research in the area of animal behavior will have profound implications for the design of housing and management systems for hens, sows and cows.”

Students at the conference will present projects ranging from establishing new research tools and preventing injurious feather pecking behavior of hens to group housing of sows and piglets and studying the play behavior of calves.

ISAE’s annual conference brings together researchers, teachers, students, policymakers and others interested in applied ethology and animal welfare. Every year HSI awards travel scholarships for students whose research contributes to the advancement of farm animal welfare worldwide.


  • About 80 percent of breeding sows in the United States are confined in crates so small the animals are virtually immobilized for their entire lives. Scientific research [PDF] confirms this causes suffering, including infections, sores and mental stress.
  • Nearly 280 million hens in U.S. egg production are confined in cages so small, they can't even spread their wings. Scientific research [PDF] confirms this causes suffering.
  • Farm animal welfare is a major social issue: A study by food industry consulting firm Technomic found that animal welfare is among the top three concerns of American restaurant patrons, and a 2007 American Farm Bureau-funded report found that 89 percent of Americans believe that food companies that require their suppliers to treat farm animals better are doing the right thing.


Media Contact: Rebecca Basu, 301-258-3152, rbasu@humanesociety.org

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. HSI fights for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. On the Web at hsi.org.

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