Campus News

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

News Release

October 20, 2003

U of G lecture to discuss farm animal welfare

The role animal caretakers play in the welfare of farm animals will be the topic of a free public lecture Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Ontario Veterinary College's Lifetime Learning Centre cafeteria.

Paul Hemsworth, a University of Melbourne agriculture, forestry and horticulture professor and director of the Animal Welfare Centre in Australia, will present "Does the Animal Caretaker Need to Care?: The Importance of Human-Animal Interaction for the Welfare of Farm and Companion Animals."

Animal welfare audits and training modules for livestock handlers and truckers are being developed across North America, said animal and poultry science professor Tina Widowski. "It's timely to be thinking about stockperson training and the importance of the stockperson. Prof. Hemsworth is well-respected as a researcher in the area, and he has been very successful in applying his research knowledge in training programs for stockpeople."

Hemsworth studies how the social and physical environment affects the behaviour, productivity and welfare of farm animals. During the past two decades, his research has emphasized the importance of stockperson attitudes and their impact on livestock productivity.

The talk is the 2003 Ontario Agricultural College F.W. Presant Memorial Lecture and is hosted by U of G's department of animal and poultry science and the Colonel K.L. Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. The centre is the longest-established research program in animal welfare in North America, has more than 50 associated faculty members from across campus, and is led by Prof. Ian Duncan, who holds the university's chair in animal welfare.

The lecture is named for Fred Presant, a 1923 OAC graduate who served as the first chair of the OAC advisory board and chaired the board of regents during the formation of U of G in 1964. He died in 1996.

Established in 1988, the lecture is held in alternate years and is supported by the OAC Alumni Foundation.

For more information about the lecture series, contact Janice DeMoor, at (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56728, or

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

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