Jan Shearer, DVM, MS, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Award. Shearer is a Professor and Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Established in 1989, the award recognizes an AVMA member who has advanced animal well-being, shown exemplary dedication to animal care, and contributed to the community and society. Shearer will receive the award during the AVMA’s annual conference in July.
For nearly 40 years, Shearer has been an advocate for animal welfare and has worked tirelessly to increase its awareness, particularly in the livestock industry. As a bovine practitioner, and later as an educator and researcher, he developed and implemented welfare programs that have advanced the science and best practices for animal welfare.
Shearer is internationally known for his expertise in bovine hoof care and lameness, a significant welfare issue. He initiated the Master Hoof Care Technician Program that has raised the awareness of lameness as a welfare issue. As a result, dairy and cattle operations, veterinarians, and hoof trimmers across the country have introduced hoof-care programs to address the problem.
As a national leader in the field of animal welfare, Shearer is immediate past Chair of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners’ Welfare Committee, Chair of the Food Animal Working Group of the AVMA’s Panel on Euthanasia and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Professional Animal Auditors Certification Organization.
Shearer has delivered more than 375 presentations related to animal health and welfare at international, national and state producer and veterinary conferences.
Since joining the faculty at Iowa State University in 2009, he continues to influence and shape public policy related to animal welfare. He serves on the Iowa Farm Animal Care Initiative. Shearer lectures in several professional courses in dairy and beef production medicine and animal welfare at Iowa State University.
“I am truly humbled and honored by this recognition,” Shearer said. “I am especially pleased that this has happened to me while serving as a faculty member at Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It is only right that a person receive such an honor while at an institution so deserving of being acknowledged for its commitment to addressing animal welfare issues for the livestock industries in teaching, research and extension.”