An animal welfare charity in Hertfordshire is offering up to £150,000 for students in Israel to show that animals experience pain.
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), based in Wheathampstead near St Albans, offered the award “to support an innovative animal welfare research project in Israel”.
UFAW is a sister charity of the Humane Slaughter Association, which “played a key role” in the passage of legislation requiring mechanical stunning of animals prior to slaughter.
It supports proposals that all meat should be labelled at the point of sale, “indicating whether, and what, pre-slaughter stunning was used”.
UFAW said its award for the 2020 UFAW SAWI Research Training Scholarship (RTS) was “aimed at advancing animal welfare or improving our understanding of animal welfare challenges.
The money is intended to provide funding to undertake research leading to the award of a doctoral degree, and is open to applicants from any institution based in Israel which can grant a doctoral degree.
The organisation said it was interested in “methodologies aimed at elucidation of the neurological basis of sentience in animals” as well as “detection and alleviation of pain and distress”.
HSA says sheep lose consciousness faster than cattle, which have vertebral arteries in their necks that cannot be cut unless their spinal columns are also severed.
“This vertebral artery continues to supply blood to the brain following severance of the other major blood vessels,” it said. “Some cattle may continue to show signs of consciousness for up to 30 seconds or more after the cut has been made.”