Remembering John & Jenny Barnett
It is 10 years since the Black Saturday Victorian bushfires which claimed the lives of John and Jenny Barnett along with so many others.
This week, we remember John, Jenny and all affected on and after that terrible day.
John’s main area of expertise was stress physiology and its application to the study of domestic animal welfare. His research over 30 years provided a timely balance on discussions within science and the livestock industries on welfare
methodology and interpretations and the impact of his research continues to improve animal welfare methodology.
John’s research on pigs and poultry made a critical contribution to our understanding of the welfare risks associated with confinement housing, highlighting the major risks of confinement that arise from spatial and social restriction.
He worked extensively with the livestock industries in developing welfare components of livestock industry QA programs and in assisting to achieve improvements in awareness and practices to safeguard animal welfare standards.
His outstanding scientific efforts have been highly acclaimed nationally and internationally by both science and the livestock industries and animal welfare science has greatly missed his important contributions.
Jenny was a researcher with the Victorian National Parks Association, completed work on mammal counts, endangered species and fuel-reduction burning, which she supported in the state's national parks. She was also a voice for the environment, tirelessly campaigning on wildlife issues in the media.
They are often in our thoughts and we miss them greatly.
Every time I think of John, who I knew better than Jenny, I miss them both. John was such an affable, reasoned presence in our discussions, and a delightfully careful thinker. You could always feel a genuine thoughtful authority underlying his discourse, even if you disagreed with his perspective. John in manner, demeanour and experience quietly commanded respect, added to which he was a thoroughly good bloke it was always pleasant to be with. I always looked forward to meeting him.
John was one of the key persons in the development of the Animal Welfare Science Centre. His commitment and advocacy for achieving high quality animal welfare science and animal behaviour science is particularly remembered.
I read in 'Body Count-How climate change is killing us" by Paddy Manning that Jenny Barnett stated "fuel reduction burning was not a panacea for fire control,that if it increased to broadscale burning there will be concomitant losses in biodiversity and environmental services, such as water quality".
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