Keynote Speakers


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 at the NZCAC conference:
'The Role of Scientists in Human Behaviour Change for Animals: NZ case studies.'

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Dr Peter Thornber


Commonwealth Veterinary Association
• President, Commonwealth Veterinary Association
• Adjunct Professor, University of Queensland
• Veterinary Director, Peter Thornber and Associates
• 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
• Involved in the development of the regional animal welfare strategy for Asia, The Far East and Oceania and the establishment of the New Zealand Australia World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Collaborating Centre on Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics
• Awarded the University of Queensland Gatton Gold Medal, December 2014 for outstanding contribution and leadership in animal welfare
• Received Australia Day Achievement Awards in 2014, 2007, 1998 for outstanding contribution to animal health and welfare
• Awarded the Gatton Distinguished Past student Award, December 2013
• Awarded the Australian Veterinary Association President’s Award in 2013 for outstanding professional contribution
• President of the animal welfare specialist veterinarians (Welfare Chapter) of the Australia New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists 2014 to 2017.
• Recipient of the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations’ Asian Animal Welfare Award for 2016.

Peter will deliver two talks at the NZCAC conference:
'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 Sara Dubois


BC 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, she works to provide education on ethics and alternatives for animals used in teaching, testing and research in Canada.

Sara will deliver two talks at the NZCAC conference:
'AnimalKind Accredited: Defining humane in the animal-services marketplace' and
'Take your Values on Vacation: Animal welfare and tourism.'

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Debbie Busby


Clinical Animal Behaviourist
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 and 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 uses her background in integrative counselling and psychology to help her clients understand and implement the changes that she recommends through her behaviour consultations, and she has adapted the Transactional Analysis model of communication for use with behaviour clients. Through her interest in the human element of behaviour consulting she works closely with Human Behaviour Change for Animals, developing educational resources and new reflexive working models to facilitate change and personal development.

Soon to complete a four year Psychotherapy Diploma, in the future Debbie aims to offer clinical supervision to behaviour consultants, and equine relational and wilderness therapy to psychotherapy clients.

Debbie divides her time between the UK, Turkey and Jordan, where she researches horse training and equestrian pursuits situated in other cultures, and takes part annually in the challenging 6 day Wadi Rum desert trail ride in southern Jordan.

Debbie will deliver two talks at the NZCAC conference:
'Improving Animal Welfare: The human element' and
'The Human Element: Principles to practice.'

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