Purdue Animal Welfare Science Programs Attract more than 200 Attendees

June 2, 2017

Dr. Jennifer Walker of Dean Foods speaks during the 3rd annual Purdue CAWS Symposium, which attracted 100 attendees.  The two-day program in Stewart Center addressed the topic of 'Advancing Animal Welfare Science: Overcoming Obstacles to Implementation.'

Dr. Jennifer Walker of Dean Foods speaks during the 3rd annual Purdue CAWS Symposium, which attracted 100 attendees. The two-day program in Stewart Center addressed the topic of "Advancing Animal Welfare Science: Overcoming Obstacles to Implementation."

Two continuing education programs focusing on animal welfare science and canine welfare science drew more than 200 registered attendees from across the country to Purdue University May 17-19.  Held in Stewart Center, the programs were hosted by the Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science (CAWS), which is jointly funded by the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture.

The 3rd annual CAWS Symposium and Workshops on Wednesday and Thursday, May 17-18, focused on the theme, "Advancing Animal Welfare Science: Overcoming Obstacles to Implementation," and attracted 100 registered participants, including researchers, students, veterinarians, industry professionals, legislators and interested members of the community.  The first day consisted of two preliminary workshops.  During the morning, Dr. Janice Kritchevsky, Purdue Veterinary Medicine professor of large animal internal medicine, moderated a workshop on the topic, “Integrating Animal Welfare into the Animal Science and Veterinary Curriculum.” Special speakers from the University of Guelph, the University of Bristol and Iowa State University addressed the learning objectives in animal welfare courses and the animal welfare skill set necessary for graduates to possess.

In the afternoon, the second workshop covered the topic, “Food Safety, Economics, and the Humane Food Movement,” and was moderated by Dr. Marisa Erasmus, Purdue assistant professor of animal sciences.  Special speakers included Dr. Richard Blatchford, assistant poultry extension specialist at the University of California, Davis; Dr. Janet Helms, of the American Humane Association; Emily Moose, director of outreach for the organization A Greener World; and Dr. Nicole Widmar, Purdue associate professor of agricultural economics.  They addressed the rise of the humane food movement and the impacts of humane food production on animals, consumers, producers and food safety.

The CAWS Symposium was held May 18 and began with introductory comments from Dr. Karen Plaut, interim dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture and Dr. Candace Croney, CAWS director and professor of animal behavior and well-being.  Then, attendees heard from several special speakers who came from across the country and around the globe. They included Dr. Ian Duncan, University of Guelph professor emeritus of animal biosciences; Dr. Jennifer Walker, director of dairy stewardship at Dean Foods; Dr. Hanno Wuerbel of the Universitat Bern, Veterinary Public Health Institute; Dr. Suzanne Millman, Iowa State University associate professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine; and Dr. James Ha, retired research professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Psychology.  Topics addressed included “Animal Welfare at the Intersection of Politics, Policy, Profit and People,” “Laboratory Animal Welfare,” “Contributions and Constraints of Animal Welfare Science for On-farm Euthanasia Decisions,” and “Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals: The Past, Present and Future.”

The next day, May 19, 130 attendees from 19 states, including California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, participated in the 2nd annual Canine Welfare Science Forum.  The program was organized by CAWS to address the care, welfare and societal issues associated with dog breeding.  The program focused on the practical applications of scientific concepts and research results to improve canine welfare in a variety of settings. Topics included, "Dietary Management: Implications of Canine Health," presented by Dr. Kate Shoveller, assistant professor of animal biosciences at the University of Guelph; "Long-term Effects of Early Environments on the Behavior and Welfare of Dogs," with Dr. James Serpell, Marie A. Moore Professor of Ethics and Animal Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; “Preventive Dental Health in Dogs,” by Dr. Steve Thompson, PVM clinical associate professor of small animal community practice; “Behavior & Welfare Considerations in Rehoming Breeding Dogs: Scientifically Assessing Welfare in Kennels,” by Dr. Croney; and a panel discussion on the advancements and outstanding challenges in breeding dog health and welfare. 

Several participants and speakers described the collaborative spirit of the Canine Forum and progress on establishing the new canine care and welfare certification program as “historic.” “We had a great group of forum participants from varied backgrounds, including dog breeders, industry representatives and animal welfare proponents,” said Dr. Croney.  “I was fascinated to see how well these participants interacted and listened to each other during the sessions.  I think this year’s program really showed that in the right setting, people with very different points of view can work together and make progress toward implementing shared values and goals involving improving canine welfare.” 

Click here to learn more about the Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science.  Both events were coordinated through the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Office of Lifelong Learning.

Dr. Amy Bauer, CAWS postdoctoral research associate in the PVM Department of Comparative Pathobiology, discusses her research poster during the CAWS Symposium Poster Session.

Dr. Amy Bauer, CAWS postdoctoral research associate in the PVM Department of Comparative Pathobiology, discusses her research poster during the CAWS Symposium poster session.

A total of 130 attendees from as far away California, Florida and New York came to the 2nd annual Canine Welfare Science Forum hosted by the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science May 19 in Stewart Center.

A total of 130 attendees from as far away as California, Florida and New York came to the 2nd annual Canine Welfare Science Forum hosted by the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science May 19 in Stewart Center.

Writer: Kevin Doerr, pvmnews@purdue.edu


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