Campus News

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

News Release

September 25, 2006

Ethical Responsibilities to Be Examined at Animal Welfare Conference

The ethical responsibilities surrounding animal welfare will be explored at the seventh annual Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Animal Welfare Forum Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lifetime Learning Centre. The forum will also mark the retirement of Guelph professor Ian Duncan, a world leader in animal welfare.

The OVC Animal Welfare Forum is intended to raise awareness of the welfare of animals, including companion animals, lab and zoo animals and livestock. Organizers also aim to raise money for the annual $1,000 Care-a-thon animal welfare graduate research scholarship.

“We feel that animal welfare as a general topic is very important for veterinary students as well as for the general public,” said Lizete Valdmanis, a U of G veterinary medicine student and co-president of the OVC Animal Welfare Club. “Our major focus is education and awareness of various animal welfare issues, and as a student group, we want to gain a broader understanding of some of these issues.”

The morning speakers include Terry Whiting, an expert in disease control and epidemiology at the Manitoba agriculture and food veterinary services branch. Whiting will discuss how to apply a new ethic to livestock production.

Daniel Carey, director of technical communications for the research and development division of Iams, will speak on “3 R’s, 5 F’s, 10 Steps.”

Amy Kerwin, the founder of Primates, Inc., will discuss “Retiring Old and New World Monkeys From Research Facilities.” Kerwin’s experience in a federally funded research facility motivated her to establish a primate sanctuary in an effort to help retire research monkeys from U.S. laboratories.

The afternoon program will celebrate Duncan’s pioneering role in the field of animal welfare research. He officially retired from U of G in May.

“Prof. Duncan has been a very influential researcher in the animal welfare field and is internationally recognized for his contributions,” said Valdmanis. In addition to his work at Guelph, he was previously a member of a government research institute in Scotland and advised the European Commission on animal welfare matters.

U of G animal science professor Georgia Mason, Canada Research Chair in Animal Welfare, added: “Ian is a pioneer who helped establish what is now an international and thriving research field.”

Afternoon speakers include Derek Haley, who works for the Alberta government in environmental practices and livestock welfare; Jeff Rushen, an Agriculture and Agri-Food scientist specializing in cattle welfare; and Anne Malleau, executive director of the Whole Foods Animal Compassion Foundation.

Registration is encouraged. There is a suggested $10 donation to support animal welfare research at U of G. For more information or to register, visit the website or contact Valdmanis at

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519- 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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