Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speakers, Sunday April 29, 2007

Michael Appleby, PhD, World Society for the Protection of Animals
Why should we care about animals during times of crisis?

Dr. Michael Appleby took a BSc in Zoology at the University of Bristol and a PhD in Animal Behaviour at the University of Cambridge. He then carried out research at the Poultry Research Centre in Scotland and the University of Edinburgh for 20 years on behaviour, husbandry and welfare of farm animals. Publications include five books as author, co-author or editor, including Animal Welfare (1997) and Poultry Behaviour and Welfare (2004). From 2001 to 2005 he was head of the Farm Animals and Sustainable Agriculture section of The Humane Society of the United States in Washington, DC. He is now Welfare Policy Adviser to The World Society for the Protection of Animals, based in London, UK.
Tonya Stokes, MRCVS, Senior Veterinary Adviser, WSPA Disaster Management
Why should we care about animals during times of crisis?

Tonya has worked as a veterinarian for over 10 years in Australia in dairy, mixed and small animal practice. In 2004 she volunteered with the Bali Street Dog Foundation and in Sri Lanka following the Tsunami. Tonya became Disaster Management Veterinary Advisor for WSPA in 2006.   She provides technical advice, support and training to WSPA staff and local animal welfare organisations involved in natural disasters including the recent Pakistan earthquake, floods in South East Europe and India, and the earthquake and volcanic eruption in Indonesia. 


James G. Young, MD, Special Advisor to the Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Government of Canada
Weighing in public health and safety factors for humans during times of crisis

Dr. Young has held prominent positions during numerous national and international disasters and emergencies. As Ontario’s former Commissioner of Emergency Management, Dr. Young provided guidance on a number of unprecedented provincial emergencies. He led the central operation during the 1998 ice storm, which devastated eastern Ontario. He played a pivotal role in the Government of Ontario’s management of SARS and was honoured with the President’s Award from the College of Physicians and Surgeons for effective emergency coordination and public communications during the outbreak. During the August 2003 power blackout, which left over 50 million people in Ontario, New York State and much of the Eastern seaboard without power, he ensured a coordinated government response and effective communication with the public. In recognition for these efforts and his role as one of Canada’s foremost forensic scientists, Dr. Young was honoured with the Order of Ontario in 2005. In his current position as Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Public Safety, Dr. Young sees his role as helping to shape a culture of emergency management in Canada that cuts across all levels of government, and which involves the private sector, social agencies, and the citizens they serve.

Speakers, Monday April 30, 2007 and Tuesday May 1, 2007
Victoria Bowes, DVM, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture & Land
Responding to issues under disease conditions: the BC experience with avian influenza

Dr. Victoria Bowes has been a diagnostic avian pathologist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford since 1989. Dr. Bowes grew up on a farm in Southern Ontario and received her DVM degree from the University of Guelph in 1987 and her Masters of Science in avian pathology in 1988 where her area of study focused on Sudden Death Syndrome in broiler chickens. Her professional interests are production-related diseases of poultry such as SDS, ascites and lameness as well as diseases of pet and free-ranging wild birds. Her current diagnostic caseload involves disease investigations in all species of birds (wild, pet, zoological and poultry). Dr. Bowes is a member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists, The Association for Avian Veterinarians and is a 1992 diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. Dr. Bowes was a key player in the 2004 outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in BC’s Fraser Valley and is currently involved in several post-AI recovery initiatives including outreach to small flock owners.

Randall Covey, Director of Disaster Service, Humane Society of the United States
How can animal welfare be addressed in community planning for emergency response?

Randy Covey began his career in animal welfare 19 years ago as a private contractor hired to develop and implement an animal control program for the Kodiak Island Borough in Alaska.  In 1992, Mr. Covey was hired to direct the field and shelter operations of the Lane County Animal Regulation Authority in Eugene.  With a staff of ten Animal Welfare Officers, Mr. Covey spent five and a half years providing a myriad of services to Lane County residents, ranging from enforcement of animal control ordinances to adoption of pets back into the community.  In addition to his experience with animals, Mr. Covey has been a Corrections Officer and worked for the Alaska State Troopers as a transport and trial officer.   Mr. Covey also served two terms as President of the Oregon Animal Control Council and was active in that professional organization for over 14 years. 

      Mr. Covey has over 1300 hours of training related to law enforcement, animal welfare operations, animal hoarding, animal abuse and neglect investigations, and animal rescue/emergency management operations.   This training includes the Humane Society of the United States Animal Control Academy, Certification by the National Animal Control Association, and completion of all three levels of the University of Missouri-Columbia Law Enforcement Training Institute School of Law National Cruelty Investigations School.  In June of 1999, Mr. Covey attended the Equine Investigations Academy Level I, and in June of 2000 was invited to participate in the Charter Class of Equine Investigations Level II.  The Law Enforcement Training Institute School of Law, University of Missouri, certifies both equine classes.  In 1997, Mr. Covey was certified by the Oregon Board of Public Safety Standards and Training (BPSST) as a Training Facilitator, and has facilitated “Methods of Instruction” classes in both Oregon and Alaska.  Mr. Covey has provided instruction to law enforcement, animal control, and humane organizations on various topics including the relationship between human and animal abuse, the profile of an animal hoarder, and basic animal cruelty investigations.  While employed by the Oregon Humane Society from 1997 to 2006 as a Special Agent, Lt. Covey led their law enforcement division.  Commissioned by the Governor of Oregon to enforce the criminal animal welfare laws, Lt. Covey was the first Humane Officer to attend the Oregon Police Academy in the history of the State and graduated at the top of his class. Mr. Covey is also certified by Rescue-3 International as an Animal Rescue Technician, and led the creation of the Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue (OHSTAR) team. 

      On February 1st of 2006 Mr. Covey joined The Humane Society of the United States as Director of Disaster Services and as such is managing the expansion of their disaster response team.  In this position Mr. Covey has the opportunity to apply the totality of his previous training and experience to a national program that specializes in dealing with animal issues in a disaster.

Ian JH Duncan, PhD, Emeritus Chair in Animal Welfare, University of Guelph
What do we know about what animals need during disasters and disease outbreaks?

Ian Duncan was born and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland. He graduated B.Sc. in Agriculture with Honours in Animal Husbandry from Edinburgh University and went on to study for his Ph.D. at the Poultry Research Centre (PRC), Edinburgh (now the Roslin Institute, home of Dolly the sheep) with a topic of frustration and conflict in the domestic fowl. He was thus one of the first people to bring a scientific approach to solving animal welfare problems. He continued to work at the PRC on welfare topics in poultry for 20 years until he emigrated to Canada in 1989. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Guelph and also holds the oldest University Chair in Animal Welfare in North America. In his research, he is developing methods of “asking” farm animals what they feel about the conditions in which they are kept and the procedures to which they are subjected. He has published more than 150 scientific papers most of which are connected to animal welfare. Ian is also heavily involved in teaching, and his third-year undergraduate course on farm animal welfare currently has more than 150 students enrolled.

Brian Evans, DVM, Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, Canadian Food inspection Agency
How is animal welfare addressed within international frameworks?

Dr. Evans is an alumnus of the University of Guelph where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree (B.Sc. Agr.) in 1974 from the Ontario Agricultural College, with a major in animal science and genetics, and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (D.V.M.) from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1978. With the creation of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in 1997, Dr. Evans was appointed as Executive Director of the Animal Products Directorate with the responsibility for the animal based food continuum from conception to consumption and as Canada’s fourteenth Chief Veterinary Officer since Confederation in 1867. In 2004, in recognition of the increasing complexity and challenge of the international threat environment for animal and emerging zoonotic diseases, the stand alone office of the Chief Veterinary Officer was created reporting to the President of the CFIA and to serve as the senior advisor to the Government on animal and veterinary public health issues.

Brian was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1999 to serve as Canada’s delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health, (OIE). Dr. Evans public service career has included previous appointments as Director of the Animal Health and Production Division, the Chief of the Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer Program and Chief, Export Coordination with the federal Department of Agriculture and Agri-food. Nationally, Brian currently serves on the Advisory Councils of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario and the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. He is also a member of the steering committee for the newly announced veterinary faculty being established at the University of Calgary in Alberta. Dr. Evans is a strong proponent of collaboration and partnerships as fundamental to the integrity of food security and animal and veterinary public health programs at the national, hemispheric and international level.

Kelli Ferris, DVM, North Carolina State University
Decision making during disasters: Lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Floyd

Kelli K. Ferris is a 1996 graduate of North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After three years of companion animal private practice, she returned to NCSU CVM in 1999 to develop the Community Campus Partnership program. Hurricane Floyd followed shortly after and Dr. Ferris directed the three-month-long operation of the Emergency Field Hospital and Animal Shelter to care for over 400 dogs and cats evacuated from Eastern North Carolina following flooding associated with the hurricane. Dr. Ferris is one of the original founders of the State Animal Response Team (SART) concept to coordinate animal emergency planning and response at the local, state, and national level. More recent disaster response activities have included 2005 hurricane flooding response in Western NC, large animal hoarding investigations, assisting LSU with their sheltering activities following Hurricane Katrina, and coordinating shipments of hay for ongoing livestock feeding programs in Louisiana. She continues to direct activities Campus Partnership program activities that provide students hands-on service learning opportunities in small animal medicine and surgery, shelter medicine and animal disaster response, as well as animal cruelty, animal hoarding, and animal fighting investigations. She serves as a SART board member, serves on the NC Task Force to Abolish Animal Fighting, and the NC Exotic Animal Legislative Study Committee.

Sebastian Heath, DVM, PhD, USDA and Department of Homeland Security
Animal management in disasters: an international perspective of impacts on livelihoods

Dr. Sebastian Heath is on detail from USDA-APHIS to the USDA Homeland Security Office. In this capacity he serves as the USDA departmental liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. Recent activities have included inter agency liaison with US Department of Homeland Security to develop uniform credentialing and resource typing for responders to emergencies involving animals, team leader for the Homeland Security Animal Health Target Capability and national coordinator for the investigation of the BSE case in Alabama.

Dr. Heath graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, England and has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Comparative Epidemiology from Purdue University. He is Board Certified with the American Colleges of Internal Medicine and Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Maggie Mort, PhD, Institute for Health Research, Lancaster University UK
Animal disease and human trauma: The psycho-social implications of the 2001 UK Foot & Mouth Disease disaster

Dr Maggie Mort is Senior Lecturer and Director of Postgraduate Research at the Institute for Health Research and Co-Director of the Centre for Science Studies, Lancaster University, UK. Her research interests lie in the field of Science & Technology Studies and include: innovation in health science and technology; governance and ethics of new health technologies and health policy and politics. She works largely with ethnographic methods and participative methodologies and supervises a growing number of research students in health technology studies; expertise, knowledge and evidence in medicine and participation in healthcare. Current and recent projects include: The Health & Social Consequences of the 2001 UK Foot & Mouth Disease Epidemic (Department of Health); Understanding Expertise in Anaesthesia (NHS R&D Fund); The Social Construction of Evaluation in Telemedicine and Telehealthcare (Department of Health); Telemedicine, Telehealthcare and the Future Patient (ESRC/MRC Innovative Health Technologies Programme); European Commission Framework Programme 5 Thematic Network, 'Identifying Trends in European Medical Space ' (ITEMS) and the FP6 Specific Support Action, Governance, Health & Medicine: Opening Dialogue between social scientists and users (MEDUSE).

Mohan Raj, PhD, University of Bristol
Humane killing of animals for disease control purposes

Mohan Raj is a veterinary scientist specialised in animal welfare, especially during stunning and slaughter for human consumptions or killing for disease control purposes.

He is currently employed as Senior Research Fellow in the School of Clinical Veterinary Science. Raj served as a member of the European Union Scientific Veterinary Committee Working Group (expert advisor) on stunning or killing of animals. Since the formation of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), he has been a member of the working groups on stunning or killing of animals and euthanasia of animals used in research. Raj is also a member of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) ad hoc group on welfare of animals during stunning and slaughter for human consumption. Raj has published over 50 peer reviewed papers in international scientific journals and been an invited speaker at various international conferences.

William Stokes, DVM, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA
Disaster planning for laboratory animal facilities: lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina

Dr. Stokes is the Director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He directs the evaluation of new chemical and product safety testing methods that will better protect human health and improve animal welfare. He also administers the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods. This committee reviews new test methods and coordinates validation, regulatory acceptance, and national and international
harmonization issues within the Federal government.

Dr. Stokes earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Speed Scientific School at the University of Louisville and was awarded a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ohio State University. He completed postdoctoral training in laboratory animal medicine at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland and attained board certification as a Diplomate in the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine in 1983. After serving seven years in the Army Veterinary Corps, he transferred to the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1986. Dr. Stokes is a Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service, and has served as the Chief Veterinary Officer for the U.S. Public Health Service since 2003.

Following Hurricane Katrina, he deployed as Team Leader for the initial USPHS Veterinary Team that assisted with emergency sheltering and veterinary care of thousands of companion animals rescued from New Orleans. Following Hurricane Wilma, he served as Deputy Commander for the PHS Medical Team in Broward County Florida, which provided medical care to over 50 communities using mobile clinics. He most recently served as Deputy Team Leader for a PHS Rapid Deployment Force Medical Team.

Terry Whiting, DVM, MSc, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
Special welfare concerns in countries dependent on live animal trade: the real emergency for Canada

Dr. Whiting graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1984, completed a MSc in Equine exercise physiology at University of Guelph in 1988, and was in mixed, primarily food animal practice in Ontario during this time. Whiting has spent 16 of last 20 years working for Governments in Food Safety and Animal Health. He spent 8 years with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and 8 years with Manitoba Agriculture at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Whiting was on the development committee for the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council horse code of practice (1998), the Transport code of practice (2001) and the Swine Segregated Early Weaning amendment (2003). Currently he is the Chair of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Committee, and is the provincial representative on the National Farm Animal Care initiative. Whiting has published in peer reviewed journals on the topics of humane transportation of animals, food safety, and emergency preparedness.

Carin Wittnich, DVM, The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
How is animal welfare addressed within Canada's emergency response plan?

Dr. Wittnich, a 1976 OVC graduate, once served as Head veterinarian for the Montreal Emergency Animal Clinic (1976-82), is now a tenured Full Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Physiology at the University of Toronto, and Staff in the Division of Cardiac Surgery at The Hospital for Sick Children. She has received a number of teaching and research awards at the University of Toronto and in 2001 was invested with the Order of Ontario and in 2002 received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Dr Wittnich was also recognized with the OVC Distinguished Alumna award in 2005, and she was the keynote speaker at the 2006 Blue Coat Ceremony. She is a founding Director of the Oceanographic Environmental Research Society (OERS) and runs their Animal Disaster Response Program as well as co-founder of the Canadian Marine Animal Rescue Network (CMARN). She holds permits for wildlife rehabilitation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Federal Ministry of the Environment (Migratory Birds). HASCOM training and supervisor status for the Oiled Wildlife Care Network of the state of California, rounds out her expertise. She headed up an OERS team deployed to Louisiana in 2005 at the request of RAVS/HSUS, where she worked with the HSUS, FEMA and the MS Department of Public Health providing animal focused post-Katrina hurricane relief. She now sits on the Advisory Board for the CVMA/CFIA Canadian Veterinary Reserve and Chairs the Civil Disaster Animal Response Committee of this advisory committee. Dr Wittnich also sits and consults on a number of other disaster preparedness committees.

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