The New Zealand Companion Animal Conference 2018  - HBC theme 

Conference announcement: HBCA team member Debbie Busby will be representing HBCA by delivering a keynote at this event.

The New Zealand Companion Animal Council is hosting the 2018 Companion Animal Conference to be held on 17-19 of September at the Crowne Plaza in Auckland.

The conference theme is ‘Human Behaviour Change for Animals.’ Everyone working to improve the welfare of animals understands that human behaviour towards animals impacts on welfare and is the root cause of much animal suffering. To change human behaviour we need to understand the attitudes and beliefs that motivate people to do what they do in order to find the best ways to encourage individuals, communities and populations to make changes that improve the welfare outcomes of animals.

The New Zealand Companion Animal Council welcomes five keynote speakers:

Dr Sara Dubois (British Columbia SPCA)
Sara is the Chief Scientific Officer at BC SPCA, directing province-wide welfare science operations, education and advocacy projects. Her area of expertise is in wildlife welfare and human dimensions, but her role also aims to develop relationships with academia and advocate for animals used in science. She works on diverse issues from wildlife rehabilitation and oil spill response to captive wild animal management, exotic pets, urban wildlife conflict, compassionate conservation and she also assists in wildlife cruelty investigations. Sara, along with other passionate animal welfare colleagues, founded the national non-profit organization Animals in Science Policy Institute in 2015. As AiSPI Board President, Sara works to provide education on ethics and alternatives for animals used in teaching, testing and research in Canada. Sara will deliver two talks entitled;
“AnimalKind Accredited: Defining humane in the animal-services marketplace” and “Take your values on vacation: Animal welfare & tourism”

Debbie Busby (Human Behaviour Change for Animals) 
Debbie Busby is a Clinical Animal Behaviourist, one of only four equine specialists registered with the UK’s Animal Behaviour and Training Council, and is accredited by the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants as a Certified Horse Behaviourist. She works with referring vets on complex behaviour problems in horses and dogs, and provides expert witness services to UK courts. Debbie writes and presents webinars, seminars and workshops internationally on all aspects of behaviour, consulting and horse-human relationships. She holds a first class BSc (Hons) in Psychology and an MSc with distinction in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare. She is a full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, graduate member of the British Psychological Society, and member of the British Veterinary Behaviour Association, Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, Equine Behaviour and Training Association, UK Centre for Animal law (A-Law) and UK Register of Expert Witnesses. Debbie will deliver two talks entitled; “Improving animal welfare: the human element” and “The human element: principles to practice”

Dr Peter Thornber (Commonwealth Veterinary Association)
Peter is the President of the Commonwealth Veterinary Association, Professor at the University of Queensland as well as; 
• Veterinary Director, International Animal Welfare Consultants, Ltd., New Zealand
• Advisor to The Donkey Sanctuary, UK, with engaging and assisting implementation of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) animal welfare standards and other animal welfare advice.
• Expert animal welfare representative on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Animal Welfare Working Group from 2011 to 2017
• Twenty three years’ experience in the Australian Government in public policy in animal health and welfare and emergency management
• Drafted Australia’s Animal Welfare Strategy and led its further development and implementation from 2003 to 2013

Peter will deliver two talks entitled; “The Impact of government policy on human attitudes and behaviour - The Australian Animal Welfare Strategy experience” and “Culture and socioeconomics impacting human behaviour - the current case of working horses and donkeys”

Dr Ngaio Beausoleil (Massey University)
Ngaio is Associate Professor in Applied Ethology and Animal Welfare Science, and Co-director of the Massey University Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre. Her research employs behavioural and physiological methods to investigate various aspects of animal welfare in both domestic and wild animal species. Major research themes include: systematic scientific evaluation of animal welfare; breathlessness in animals; humane methods of ‘euthanasia’; developmental processes, recognition, modulation and alleviation of pain in farm animals; humane vertebrate pest control; and welfare impacts associated with wildlife conservation activities. Ngaio will deliver one talk entitled; “The role of scientists in human behaviour change for animals: NZ case studies”

Dr Lynette McLeod (University of New England)

Lynette is a Postdoc Fellow at the University of New England. She is interested in environmental psychology, and her primary research area is applying human behaviour change approaches to improve current extension and adoption practices. She recently completed a PhD on human behaviour change and cat management. Current research projects include capacity building of wild dog coordinators so they can engage more effectively with their communities, working with RSPCA Australia and Qld to improve the adoption of cat containment practices, refining community engagement strategies for the Bruny Island cat management project, and improving the weed management outcomes of landowners who have small acreages across NSW. Lynette has over twenty five years of experience working in animal management with NSW DPI, Local Land Services and community groups. She shares her home with two cats and a chocolate Labrador. Lynette will deliver one talk at the Companion Animal Conference: Designing Effective Behaviour Change Interventions for Cat Management: A Practical Guide.'

To read more about our speakers please visit the conference website: In addition to our keynote presentations, there will also be a number of shorter submitted talks and poster presentations relating to the theme.

The draft conference programme is available on the NZCAC Conference website here:…/conference-details/programme

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For more information visit the conference website and follow the NZCAC Facebook page for updates