Monday 21 March 2016
2.30 - 4.30pm

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Webster LT 208, Veterinary Science Conference Centre, University of Sydney


“How can we ensure the ethical treatment of animals used in racing?”

The Faculty of Veterinary Science in partnership with the Human Animal Research Network of the Sydney Environment Institute presents the  6th Annual  DR ROBERT DIXON ANIMAL WELFARE MEMORIAL SYMPOSIUM

The Symposium will be a Question & Answer-style format chaired by Dr Chris Degeling (Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine).

There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience. Key participants in the discussion panel are:

  • Dr Don Colantonio (Chief Vet Harness Racing NSW)
  • Dr Rosemary Elliott (Sentient)
  • Dr Brian Stewart (Chief Vet Racing Victoria)
  • Dr Liz Arnott (Chief Vet Greyhound Racing NSW)
  • Dr Bidda Jones (Chief Scientist, RSPCA Australia)
  • Prof Phil McManus (The University of Sydney)

Robert Dixon graduated from the University of Sydney in 1973 with a BSc(Vet) degree before completing his BVSc degree in 1974. He completed his PhD in 1980 in New Zealand and returned to the University of Sydney in 1983 to take up an academic appointment within the Faculty of Veterinary Science. For many years Robert held the Faculty position of Sub-Dean Animal Welfare as well as serving on the University Animal Ethics Committee.

Robert impressed his friends and colleagues with his determination, passion, positive attitude and sense  of humour as he battled with ill-health throughout his life.

Robert’s email signature finished with a quote from Mohandas Gandhi – “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.


Chair: Dr Chris Degeling

  1. Welcome by the Dean Prof Rosanne Taylor
  2. Initial presentation by Dr Degeling on the key welfare and ethical issues followed by questions to panel members as to how these should be addressed.
  3. TWO initial questions will to be posed (giving the audience more opportunity to then become involved) including:
  • What are the main factors that affect animal welfare in racing?
  • What roles can the veterinary profession play to advance animal welfare in racing?

To view the video: Click Here