Former BSAS president wins prestigious award for work on animal welfare

Former BSAS president Sandra Edwards has won a prestigious award for her career-long contributions to improving animal welfare.

Professor Edwards, professor of agriculture at Newcastle University, won the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) medal for outstanding contributions to animal welfare science at a special awards ceremony last month. 

Prof Edwards (pictured, left), who was BSAS president from 2004 to 2005 and is a long-standing member of the society, won the award for her extensive work on understanding the welfare issues facing the pig sector.

As well as developing techniques farmers can adopt to improve pig welfare, Prof Edwards has led collaborations between government, academia and industry to find ways to improve the lives of livestock.

She has also worked as an advisor for numerous organisations and welfare assurance schemes, published more than 200 scientific papers, and inspired countless young scientists to measure and promote welfare.

Prof Edwards was nominated for this award by Dr Catherine Douglas, a fellow lecturer at the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University.

Praising Prof Edwards and her work, Dr Douglas added: “With a global push towards sustainable intensification in animal production, it is reassuring that Sandra turned down retirement to continue championing animals’ welfare.”

Prof Edwards was awarded the medal alongside Jeff Rushen (pictured, right) of the Dairy Education and Research Centre at the University of British Columbia.

Prof Rushen has worked extensively in the field of cattle welfare and animal behaviour, writing hundreds of papers and books on how human and animal relationships can be improved. 

UFAW chief executive Robert Hubrecht, who presented the awards, said: “Jeff and Sandra are both world-leading experts in their fields, who have made substantial contributions to our understanding of farm-animal needs and husbandry. They are very worthy winners of the 2017 UFAW medal.”