PEOPLE: Dr Harold Gonyou receives honorary fellow award

22-09-2011 | |

Dr Harold Gonyou, Prairie Swine Centre, Canada, has been recognised for his contributions to the science of behaviour at a recent ceremony held by the International Society for Applied Ethology.

Dr Gonyou’s practical work supporting pork producers is quoted around the world and used in the redesign of barns, equipment and how stockpeople interact with pigs.

“Leaving a positive impact on the field of ethology, animal welfare in general, the industry and society.” That is how Dr Gonyou was introduced during his recent induction as an Honorary Fellow of the ISAE (International Society for Applied Ethology) at their annual meeting in Indianapolis in August.

The society was hosting their 45th international conference, an important event in meeting their mission to provide a ‘forum for the presentation and discussion of advances in applied animal behaviour science and education, and inspires further innovations’.

Dr Gonyou has been an active member of the society throughout his career acting as President of the Society, and co-editor-in-chief of the Applied Animal Behaviour Science Journal.

Swine focus
Throughout his career, that included appointments at the University of Illinois and Prairie Swine Centre, Harold has studied all the principle domestic animal species (focusing primarily on pigs since 1992 when he joined Prairie Swine Centre).

Gonyou’s legacy has included several academic and industry awards and recognitions for his ability to apply the science of animal behaviour to practical production challenges. During his career he established the methodology for assessing feeder effectiveness (resulting in the redesign of several brands of feeders in Canada), establishment of measuring stress-induced behaviour in moving and transport of pigs, refining the space requirements for all classes of swine using a novel body area formula, the understanding of social conditioning that has re-written how mixing and handling of growing pigs and gestation animals can be better managed to reduce aggression and to assist in developing new management practices for large group housing systems.

Although officially retired in July, he continues to oversee graduate students, consult on the research program that he has established at PSC, and deliver special lectures at the University of Saskatchewan and other institutions. The industry continues to benefit from Harold’s experience as a member of the national committee reviewing the codes of practice for swine, and is currently publishing a series of articles on current topics in pork production and how the science of behaviour can play a part in solving production issues and societal impressions of modern pork production.

Gonyou is only the sixteenth person to be honoured as a fellow in the society’s 45 year history.

Related article:
Free space utilisation of sows in free access stalls (Pig Progress 27.02, 2011)

Related website:
Prairie Swine Centre

ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world