Campus News

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

News Release

October 10, 2000

U of G hosts lecture on animal welfare, effect on farming

A representative of the world's largest and oldest animal welfare organization will be at the University of Guelph Nov. 8 as the second F.W. Presant Memorial Lecturer. He will discuss how public sentiment has affected animal agriculture in the United Kingdom.

Martin Potter's visit is sponsored by the University's Colonel K.L. Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare and the Ontario Agricultural College's Alumni Foundation. Potter heads the farm animals department of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). He will give a public lecture on "The Power of Public Sentiment: How Animal Welfare Concerns Have Changed Animal Agriculture in the U.K." Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Government of Ontario building conference centre in the Stone Road complex. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In addition, Potter will be giving guest lectures in various undergraduate classes at the university during the week of Nov. 6. He will meet with students and faculty from the Ontario Veterinary College and Ontario Agricultural College and with officials from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Martin has worked for the RSPCA for 13 years. Prior to that, he was involved in research at the University of Reading, England, where he studied the welfare and behaviour of dairy cows, pigs and poultry. He has also worked for the U.K. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. For the past nine years, he has been developing detailed welfare specifications for use under the RSPCA's Freedom Food program. This initiative labels meat, eggs and dairy products from animals reared under high levels of animal welfare and now has about 4,000 farmers operating to the standards.

Martin has also represented European welfare organizations in discussions at the Council of Europe and with the European Commission. He has also served on the U.K.'s Farm Animal Welfare Council, an independent advisory body to the government.

The OAC Alumni Foundation supports the lectureship from funds raised by the family and friends of Fred Presant.

Contacts: Prof. Ian Duncan Department of Animal and Poultry Science (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3652

Prof. Tina Widowski Department of Animal and Poultry Science (519) 824-4120, Ext. 2408

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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