World impact of ISAE: Past and future


When the ISAE was formed in 1966, studies of farm, companion or other animals kept by humans were thought of as a side issue for real science, and those who did such work were considered to be second-rate scientists. Since that time, applied ethology has moved on to become an established and respected scientific discipline. Many of the major contributions to our understanding of motivation in recent years have come from work on domestic animals. The causation of many behaviours that are used as welfare indicators has been explored, and much work on the mechanisms controlling behaviour development has been done on farm animals. On a global scale, the work of ISAE members, through their collective knowledge and expertise, has played a significant role in the development of animal welfare legislation and global policies. This chapter explores how far reaching the impact of the ISAE has been. Since the early 1980s the work of ISAE members has been widely used by the EU in determining the current state of the scientific knowledge prior to drafting new animal welfare legislation. Consistently ISAE members have been part of the EU scientific working groups as well as serving on committees for the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The work of ISAE members continues to spread through publications in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, the official journal of the ISAE, and other related journals. Annual ISAE conferences and regional conferences have focused on broadening the scope of and influence of this science, with meetings aimed at increasing the utilisation of research in particular areas, such as encouraged collaboration between applied ethologists and agricultural economists. In recent years, the ISAE has become involved with education and information provision on animal welfare. Looking forward, it is anticipated that the ISAE will continue to have strong impact in education as well as in research related to genetics, environment and management of captive and domestic species.