Virtual CAWS Symposium Focuses on Lessons Learned from COVID-19

Friday, May 14, 2021

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With a focus on understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced perceptions about the human-animal bond, the 2021 CAWS Virtual Symposium, set to begin next Wednesday, May 19, has attracted more than 80 registrants from eight countries including the U.S. The two-day symposium is entitled, “One Welfare: What has COVID-19 taught us about balancing human and animal interests?”

Sessions offered during the virtual symposium will explore the effects of the pandemic on animal welfare, human health and well-being. “There have been relatively few animal behavior and welfare meetings lately because of COVID-19, especially ones that cover these topics,” said Dr. Candace Croney, director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science (CAWS) and a professor of animal behavior and well-being who holds a joint appointment in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. “The symposium is an excellent opportunity to bring together people with livestock interests and those with companion animal interests, as well as those focused on socio-ethical and economic considerations that warrant greater attention in discussions about animal welfare,” Dr. Croney said.

People who already have registered for the conference from abroad represent the countries of Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.  Registration for the symposium will remain open until 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.  Information about the symposium, including the link for the event, will be sent early next week to those who have registered. Lectures will be available for 14 days on-demand after the initial date of the lecture for registered attendees to view.

Keynote speakers are Heather Fowler, the director of producer and public health at the National Pork Board, and Jennifer Applebaum, a sociology PhD student at the University of Florida. “The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many already-existing social inequalities, further disadvantaging marginalized populations,” Applebaum said. “These inequalities threaten the human-animal bond and carry very real consequences for the welfare of human and animal members of multispecies families.”

General admission for the symposium is $70, with special discounted rates available to students and CAWS members. Fees will support CAWS programming. Click here to register and view the schedule of speakers.

The symposium has been approved for eight hours of continuing education credits by the Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) program’s certification process, provided by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Sixty-one jurisdictions and provinces accept RACE credits for veterinary medicine continuing education. Participants wanting to earn the event’s eight credits are encouraged to sign up for RACEtrack to expedite the process.

The Center for Animal Welfare Science is jointly supported by Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Agriculture.

Writer(s): Ben Shepard |

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