Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 22, 2005

Ethics, Disease, Survival to Be Examined at U of G Forum

What kinds of effects does a natural disaster have on animals? What responsibilities do corporations have to ensure the welfare of the animals used in the production of food products? These are just two of the many questions and issues to be addressed during the University of Guelph's sixth annual OVC Animal Welfare Forum Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. in the Lifetime Learning Centre.

The OVC Animal Welfare Forum at Guelph is intended to raise awareness of the welfare of animals, including companion animals, lab and zoo animals and livestock. Organizers also hope to raise money to help finance an annual $1,000 graduate scholarship for research in animal welfare at U of G.

"For many people, animal welfare is often a difficult discipline to understand," said Jeff Rau, a U of G veterinary medicine student and president of the Ontario Veterinary College Animal Welfare Club. "When people become educated about how animal welfare affects, or is affected by, many aspects of their lives it becomes a tangible entity for them intellectually."

Speakers include Kelly O'Meara, program manager for Asia and Africa with Humane Society International, who was directly involved in the rescue efforts for animal victims of the December 2004 tsumani. She will present a picture diary of her experiences and insights into the welfare issues that faced animals in the midst of the tsunami and the ongoing efforts to rebuild the affected regions.

Janice Swanson, interim head of the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University, will discuss the history and complexity of moving the U.S. food-animal industry toward the identification and use of best practices, the implementation of third-party audits, and the appearance of special labelled products certifying the humane care of livestock and poultry.

Other presenters are:

Elizabeth Stone, dean of OVC: "The Veterinarian's Role in Animal Welfare — Looking to the Future."

Jonathan Balcombe, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: "Animals in Laboratories: Thinking Outside the Cage."

Laurie Edge-Hughes, Canine Fitness Centre: "Soft-Tissue Diagnosis of the Forelimb."

Gordon Doonan, Canadian Food Inspection Agency: "Meals on Wheels — Welfare Consideration in Food-Animal Transport."

Paul Woods, OVC: "Veterinary Cancer Care — Extending Quality of Life (+/- Quantity)

The day will include workshops and a student poster competition.The forum is organized by student members of the OVC Animal Welfare Club. More information is available online.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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