Purdue University's Center for Animal Welfare Science will bring together researchers, producers, government officials and others in its first symposium exploring how science can help allay mounting public concern over the well-being of animals.
The daylong event, "Addressing Current Animal Welfare Issues: Scientific Challenges and Their Societal Context," will be held May 21 at the Stewart Center, 128 Memorial Mall, on the West Lafayette campus.
"This inaugural symposium examines why animal welfare remains a matter of growing public concern and why it is important to put science in its appropriate social context to help resolve socially contentious animal welfare issues," said Candace Croney, associate professor of animal sciences and director of the center. "It also will highlight Purdue's unique capacity and leadership relative to science-based policy development and decision-making on animal welfare."
The program is intended to be useful for scientists, students, veterinarians, animal producers, various animal industry personnel, legislators and interested members of the general public.
Topics to be explored will include agricultural, companion and laboratory animal welfare challenges and opportunities.
The event will start with breakfast and registration at 7:30 a.m., followed by welcoming remarks by Croney.
The keynote address will be delivered by Bernard Rollin, a distinguished professor of philosophy, animal sciences and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University. He will give a presentation on the topic of putting current societal debates on animal welfare into context.
There also will be presentations from scientists from Michigan State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Purdue and Stanford University. They will speak on use of genomics in the housing and care of animals, the biological bond between humans and animals, and real versus perceived problems involving companion animal welfare, among other topics.
Officials from McDonald's Corp. and Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. will address corporate considerations in animal care and welfare policies.
The symposium celebrates the establishment of the Center for Animal Welfare Science in January 2014. The center is jointly funded by the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture as well as the Purdue provost.
Five continuing education units will be offered to participants needing them. A certificate of attendance also will be available to those requesting one.
Posters on research by graduate students will be presented during the symposium.
"We would like to highlight excellence in research on areas of relevance to the center's mission, including animal welfare and human-animal interaction," Croney said.
Graduate students interested in submitting a poster must send the title, names of authors (with affiliations) and a 300-word abstract of the research to Maggie O'Haire at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 10.