Top welfare award for University academic
Press release issued: 26 June 2004
Dr Steve Kestin, in the Division of Food Animal Science, at Bristol University is this year's recipient of the prestigious BSAS/RSPCA Award, presented for outstanding contribution to animal welfare.
Dr Steve Kestin, in the Division of Food Animal Science, at Bristol University is this year’s recipient of the prestigious (BSAS)/RSPCA Award, presented for outstanding contribution to animal welfare.
His wide-ranging research has contributed to many animal welfare issues from chickens to whales. He is best known for his work understanding lameness in broiler chickens, but he was one of the first to work on fish welfare, investigating commercial killing methods and establishing the principles that have allowed the development of more humane methods for farmed species. He has also investigated the welfare consequences of current whaling methods and has been highly critical of current whaling techniques.
His research has been reported in over 100 scientific papers and he has contributed to many international meetings.
The award was presented by Dr Arthur Lindley, Director of Science at the RSPCA, to Dr Kestin, “For his outstanding contribution to farm animal welfare through innovative research”.
Dr Kestin emphasised that welfare research is often teamwork and for him an important collaboration is between the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands. He added that that he felt privileged to have spent his career undertaking research on animal welfare, as it is a most satisfying occupation with both intellectual reward and the potential to make real improvements in animal wellbeing.
Dr Kestin is a graduate in Agriculture from Reading University. After graduation he worked for AFRC, the predecessor of BBSRC, and moved to the University of Bristol in 1990 where he obtained his doctorate in Animal Welfare.
Dr Lindley of the RSPCA concluded by commenting that: “Our relationship with BSAS (British Society of Animal Science) is very important to us and integrates the welfare and production aspects of animal science.
He continued: “This is the 16th award; in recent times it has become more important as pressure increases on farmers to integrate welfare standards into their production systems, while at the same time other pressures encourage practices which may be inimical to welfare. We strongly believe that welfare standards should be based on sound ethical principles supported by the best scientific evidence.”