PVM Scholar Among Authors of New Farm Animal Welfare Report

Friday, May 4, 2018

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Dr. Candace Croney with CAST members

Dr. Candace Croney (center), director of the Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science, with (left – right) Richard Wilkins, NC-FAR vice president, Dr. Dan Gingerich, CAST board of directors, Kent Schescke, CAST executive vice president, and Dr. Mark Cochran, CAST board of directors, at the House congressional staff briefing on a new CAST Task Force report on farm animal welfare.

Five Purdue University researchers, including Dr. Candace Croney, director of the Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science (CAWS), are among the authors of a new report examining the scientific, ethical, and economic aspects of farm animal welfare.

The report, published by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), shows a growing emphasis on animal welfare regulations, with increased collaboration between scientists and philosophers to address agricultural bioethics. It was released last week (Monday, April 23) in Washington, D.C., during a legislators’ briefing hosted by the American Farm Bureau, Animal Agriculture Alliance, and National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research.

“The report authors recognize that the issue of animal welfare is multifaceted and involves consideration of not only the biology and psychology of animals, but also people’s ethical concerns,” said Dr. Croney, who served as co-chair of the CAST Task Force that compiled the report and gave the briefing to the American Farm Bureau and agricultural stakeholders as well as to House and Senate staff.  Dr. Croney holds a joint appointment as professor of animal behavior and well-being in the College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of animal sciences in the College of Agriculture.

“Addressing the scientific aspects of animal welfare is challenging and complicated,” Dr. Croney said. “This paper demonstrates the need for strategic engagement related to science and ethics when communicating with a wide range of interested stakeholders.”

The report, which is used to set federal research funding priorities, is an update to a landmark 1997 CAST report on the well-being of agricultural animals. “Throughout the past 21 years, livestock and poultry industries have felt pressure to move toward alternative production practices,” Dr. Croney said.  “As the report authors point out, it is imperative to understand which systems and practices may optimize economic efficiencies in conjunction with ensuring positive animal welfare outcomes and public support of animal agriculture.”

In addition to Dr. Croney, other Purdue representatives on the task force were:

Click here to view a recording of a live stream of Dr. Croney’s PowerPoint presentation in Washington.  The full report is available in hard-copy format for $50 or as a PDF download for $10 (free for CAST members).  Click here to access the full report.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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