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WALTHAM® demonstrates commitment to scientific dialogue and exchange at international human animal interaction conference

WALTHAM scientists and research collaborators will present their work to a group of leading international experts in the field of human animal interaction (HAI) at the ISAZ 2012 conference this week. WALTHAM is the principal sponsor of ISAZ 2012, a cross-disciplinary conference hosted by the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) that will cover a diverse range of topics central to the field of human animal interaction research.

The conference is taking place at the University of Cambridge (UK) from 11th-13th July and will feature a number of leading international speakers, including talks and presentations by several WALTHAM scientists and collaborators. The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition (WALTHAM) is a leading scientific authority in pet nutrition and wellbeing and provides the scientific support underpinning leading Mars Petcare brands.

Among the numerous talks by WALTHAM collaborators, researchers from the University of Maryland (US) will present exciting new findings showing that the presence of a dog in owners' everyday lives is associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In addition, researchers from the University of Queensland (Australia) will present another piece of collaborative WALTHAM research demonstrating the potential benefits of a classroom-based, animal-assisted intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder.

WALTHAM will also host a joint session with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), one of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). In partnership with the NICHD, WALTHAM are pursuing a long-term research programme to investigate the roles pets play in promoting optimal development in children. Against this backdrop, both organisations will provide tips and advice on applying for research funding. This will be accompanied by a poster presentation showcasing the broad range of research grantees co-funded by WALTHAM and the NIH.

Dr. Sandra McCune, HAI research programme manager at WALTHAM, commented on Mars' approach to HAI research: "Mars is committed to advancing and sharing knowledge of the positive and lasting benefits of pet ownership on human health. Together with research partners, WALTHAM scientists drive industry-leading research in the field of HAI. We are therefore proud to be involved in ISAZ 2012 a renowned international conference dedicated to fostering scientific dialogue and exchange."

Contact: Dr. Sandra McCune
WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition

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