Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ohio Animal Welfare Symposium

Ohio State October 16 Animal Welfare Symposium Takes Shape
09/23/2009 03:39PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As animal agriculture comes under scrutiny and animal welfare issues are hotly debated, the time to become educated to proactively address animal welfare issues is now.

"Animal welfare is a prominent issue in Ohio and the U.S. and even the world. It's a topic of interest to producers, consumers, veterinarians, health-care professionals, legislators and anyone who has a stake in sustainable animal agriculture," said Naomi Botheras, animal welfare program specialist for Ohio State University Extension in the Department of Animal Sciences. "Because it is such an important topic that affects a lot of people, it's important to become educated about the issue, participate in the conversation and get involved in the decision-making process."

Informed decisions about animal welfare that will positively address the needs of animals, producers and consumers are based on understanding a wide range of perspectives. To better understand and proactively address farm animal welfare issues, the Department of Animal Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine are holding an Animal Welfare Symposium, "Building Partnerships to Address Animal Agriculture," on Friday, Oct. 16 at the university's Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210. Well-known animal welfare experts and social scientists from around the world will discuss the scientific, ethical, legal and social contexts embedded in the animal welfare debate.

"The symposium is an opportunity for people to hear a wide range of animal welfare perspectives, hear what other people are doing and discuss what needs to be done. It's also a chance to learn from other countries about how they have handled animal welfare issues, so we don't have to reinvent the wheel or more importantly so we don't make the same mistakes they've made," said Botheras who is co-organizing the event. Read More

One of the biggest problems that animal agriculture has been trying to tackle is educating their consumers about who they are and what they do. Everyone is concerned about livestock being handled properly, especially farmers and ranchers. But for those that have no experience in dealing with livestock, changing practices that they consider to cruel could actually cause the livestock to suffer needlessly. Forums like the one that is being hosted by Ohio State University Extension seek to give everyone an opportunity to listen to the foremost experts in the world so that informed, reasonable decisions can be made.

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