‘Have you ever considered what a chicken wants,” asks a news release. Prof. Ian Duncan apparently has. (iStock)

‘Chicken whisperer’ gets lifetime achievement award

Prof. Ian Duncan is the recipient of a prestigious award for outstanding contributions to animal welfare in Canada. Humane Canada is a federation of humane societies which seek to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and humane treatment. It set up the Frederic A. McGrand Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985.

Prof. Ian Duncan found a scientific way to ‘ask’ animals what matters to them. (University of Guelph)

Recipient studied hens in battery cages

Duncan was chosen because he was one of the first people to develop a scientific method to find out from animals what matters to them and how much it matters. He applied this to poultry and discovered important causes of frustration and pain in fowl and how their welfare could be improved.

“Receiving this award is both a personal and professional achievement,” said Duncan in a statement. “My research on the suffering experienced by egg-laying hens in battery cages helped to push for more humane husbandry systems.  However, I now feel that teaching the newer generations is what’s truly going to make a difference in animal welfare.”

International work recognized

Duncan also works with organizations around the world supporting efforts to create animal welfare certification programs. He is said to be one of the foremost experts in the world on farm animal welfare and on poultry in particular.

Categories: International
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