I was lucky enough to be invited to be the guest speaker for the Swiss annual Animal Welfare Research Walks and Talks in Kandersteg. This is a great meeting where PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers present their research and gain lots of feedback in a friendly environment. It was great to hear about the breadth of research in Switzerland covering rabbits, sheep, pigs, mice, dogs and chicken. There was research presented on serious applied welfare concerns such as foot disease in rabbits and depopulation in chickens, but also fundamental questions like can animals have behavioural addictions? And what do different kinds of inactivity tell us about welfare? I presented on ‘measuring ‘hidden’ aspects of behaviour’… and on ‘the welfare of rocks’ as part of presentation karaoke (presentations made up on the spot in response to slides you’ve never seen before).
After mornings of talks, as the name suggests, there were walks in the surrounding Swiss countryside. The views (mountains and lakes) were spectacular. I attended many UK walks and talks when I was a PhD student and Postdoc and have to say our Swiss counterparts definitely win on the views! Thanks to Mike Toscano, Justin Varholick and Christopher Gerpe for the invite!