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Lori Marino and Debra Merskin, Intelligence, complexity, and individuality in sheep


Sheep rearing has an incredibly long history. Sometimes this alone can give credibility and status to a human practice. In the twenty-first century, it may be time to reassess our treatment of sheep and their place in nature. “Just because we’ve always done it” no longer has validity by itself. There are many other human practices which used to be accepted widely in certain societies and which we now may find abhorrent. With sheep intelligence now rightly regarded as an acceptable area of research within the academic community, it is a good time to reflect on our treatment of these animals and suggest possible alternative scenarios.

Author Biography

Joyce D’Silva has an MA from Dublin University (Trinity College) and honorary degrees from the Universities of Winchester (D. Litt) and Keele (D. Univ). She was Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming from 1991-2005. She now works as Ambassador Emeritus. Joyce played a key role in achieving the UK ban on sow stalls and in getting recognition of animal sentience enshrined in the European Union Treaties. She has published widely on farm animal welfare. Website