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Campus Bulletin

January 08, 2007

Animal Welfare Centre Gets New Director

The University’s Colonel K.L. Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (CSAW) has a new director. Prof. Tina Widowski of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science was named to the position earlier this month.

Founded in 1989 as a unique academic forum, CSAW includes faculty from various disciplines across campus, including animal and poultry science, veterinary medicine, psychology, and philosophy. Overall, the centre’s goal is to improve animal welfare through discussion, research and education.

As director, Widowski will oversee CSAW’s many initiatives, including academic and public forums, educational events and co-ordination of research projects aimed at studying animal welfare problems.

“The centre was first conceptualized nearly 20 years ago by the late professor David Porter, who was the chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences,” says Widowski, who served as CSAW’s associate director from 1994 to 1998.

“The centre was one of the first of its kind, and professor Porter would be pleased to know that today animal welfare has become a part of doing business in all of the animal industries and that there is an even greater need for the centre to conduct research and train students in this area,” she says.

Research projects conducted by CSAW-affiliated faculty include studies on the design of appropriate housing systems for animals used for food, the improvement of environments for animals used in research, and ways to reduce pain and distress in all animals. Widowski’s own research has looked at the effects of housing and management on the behaviour and welfare of food animals.

In addition, CSAW provides educational opportunities for students and as the general public through lectures, seminars and roundtable discussions. It also serves as a source of general information for all sectors of society, ranging from assisting school children with special projects to answering questions posed by animal advocacy groups to advising legislators and policy-makers on animal welfare issues.

Alan Wildeman, vice-president (research) has appointed Elizabeth Stone, as OVC Dean, to be the university-designated official with overall responsibility and authority for ensuring that CSAW is fulfilling its mandate and to report on CSAW activities to his office.

Stone adds that she is excited about CSAW’s future. “The centre has a distinguished history of improving the welfare of all kinds of animals by promoting innovative research, teaching and educational programs.”

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