Grandin speaks to WSU students
Updated: Thursday, December 01, 2011 1:09 PM
Expert to speak on autism, animal agriculture issues
By MATTHEW WEAVER
Animal behavior expert Temple Grandin will speak to Washington State University students next week.
Charlie Powell, public information director for WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, said Grandin will speak on animal science and welfare as part of her appearance at the "Family Is Important" autism conference Nov. 8.
Grandin will speak at noon Nov. 8 on "A Veterinarian's Role in Shaping the Future of Agricultural Animal Welfare." There will be a special session immediately afterward for WSU students with an interest in her animal welfare work.
The event will likely be in the Compton Union Building on the Pullman, Wash., campus and open to the public, Powell said.
She will also speak about "Understanding Animal Behavior" as part of the Leo K. Bustad Visiting Professor Lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Compton Union Building Ballroom. Both events are free.
"This woman has had a remarkable career and has achieved remarkable success," Powell said, noting some of Grandin's designs for animal handling are apparent in the university's teaching hospital, which opened in 1996.
Grandin revolutionized the way large animals are handled by studying their behavior in stockyards, feed yards, slaughter facilities, sale yards and veterinary teaching hospitals.
Grandin determined the best turning radius for cows to enter the chute system, Powell said. It minimizes distress in the animals and makes moving them more efficient, he said.
"She has no qualms that animals have to go to slaughter to become food," Powell said. "Her issue is we should be treating animals the best way we can throughout their lifetime."
Powell expects several hundreds of people to attend, noting Grandin's popularity has increased following the 2010 Emmy Award-winning HBO biography, "Temple Grandin," starring Claire Danes as Grandin.
"This is truly one of those world leaders in terms of agricultural animal welfare and behavior," Powell said, noting many students have an interest in such matters. "They're very excited to talk with her."