STORY: BARNYARD BRAINS
NEW RESEARCH ON FARM ANIMALS [CORR: DAVID WRIGHT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND]
BOB WOODRUFF (ABC NEWS)
Finally tonight, if you could talk to the animals would they have anything to say? Well, new research suggests that they might.
ABC's David Wright reports tonight from Berkshire, England, on brain power in the barnyard.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): Testing the IQ of a sheep may seem laughable. But at the Babraham Institute, they know better. Sheep number 26 gets a reward every time she recognizes a face correctly. Her score, 50 out of 50.
KEITH KENDRICK (NEUROLOGIST, BABRAHAM INSTITUTE): If it was a monkey, no one would have any, any problems, possibly even if it was a dog. They would say, yeah, yeah, that's -you know, expected. But a sheep, no one really believes.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): This joystick was designed for chimps but Hamlet, the pig, is a computer wiz. He gets a reward every time he moves the cursor into the blue area. A Jack Russell terrier couldn't achieve this task after a year of trying. In other words, pigs are smarter than dogs.
PROFESSOR JOHN WEBSTER (UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL): They're very curious and they'll charge off on their own. And they will investigate the world with their noses down and batter through like a small boy.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): New research shows that chickens can be taught to run the thermostat of the chicken coop. And that even the lowly cow has a surprising inner life. Cows have been known to form life-long friendships. And one recent study found that they actually show excitement when they've learned something new.
PROFESSOR DONALD BROOM (UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE): As if they're saying, eureka, I found out how to solve the problem.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): If farm animals are intelligent creatures, that has some uncomfortable implications.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): Should we all be vegetarians?
DOCTOR JANE GOODALL (ANIMAL RESEARCHER): We should eat less meat.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): Dr. Jane Goodall, who pioneered research on chimpanzees, is a vegetarian.
DOCTOR JANE GOODALL (ANIMAL RESEARCHER): I stopped eating meat as soon as I began to really think about it. People actually don't think about it.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): John Redmore disagrees. He runs an organic farm in England.
JOHN REDMORE (FARMER): We've been eating meat since we've managed to stand on hind legs. And so, a natural part of being human is to eat meat.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): Even if they're smart?
JOHN REDMORE (FARMER): Yeah. They'd eat us.
DAVID WRIGHT (ABC NEWS): But he says, it does mean that farm animals should be treated with compassion. After all, the research shows they may be able to recognize it.
BOB WOODRUFF (ABC NEWS): Food for thought, I guess. So to speak. That's "World News Tonight" this Saturday.