Earlier this year, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) coordinated a three-day symposium in Washington, D.C., in cooperation with the USDA. The program was carried out by thirty-two presenters, speaking individually or as panel members. The broadly based program addressed the topic of "Sustaining Animal Agriculture: Balancing Bioethical, Economic, and Social Issues."

Critical issues addressed during the symposium included:

  • Bioethical and animal welfare issues.
  • Analysis of certification and regulatory programs.
  • Integration of competing concepts surrounding the ethical use of food animals.
  • Long-term survival of our agricultural system and food security.
  • Societal and global impacts.
  • Consequences of decisions by consumer and government decision makers.

Funding for publication of the symposium proceedings was provided by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). A limited number of printed proceedings were produced. The proceedings are now available on the internet, free of charge, through the CAST Web site, and on the USDA/ARS/NAL/Animal Welfare Information Center Web site.