Animal welfare experts form North American alliance

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON — A coalition of animal welfare experts from universities and industry trade groups throughout North America have formed the North American Food Animal Well-being Commission for Beef (NAFAWC-Beef). The 21-member group plans to promote research efforts focused on animal well-being and regularly communicate and update findings in a timely manner.

Among the organization’s goals is providing science-based recommendations for cattle-management practices and conduct public outreach efforts for the entire food production chain.

Twenty-one inaugural members were selected for their expertise in animal care and handling and include: Dr. Barry Dunn, Texas A & M University; Dr. Bob Smith, Oklahoma State University; Dr. Carolyn Stull, University of California at Davis; Dr. Dan Thomson, Kansas State University; Dr. Dave Sjeklocha; Academy of Veterinary Consultants, Chair of Beef Cattle Health and Well-Being; Dr. Dee Griffin, University of Nebraska; Dr. Frank Mitloehner, University of California at Davis; Dr. Gatz Riddell, AABP, executive director; Dr. Guy Loneragan, West Texas A&M University; Dr. Hans Coetzee, Kansas State University; Dr. Jan Shearer, Iowa State University; Dr. Janice Swanson, Michigan State University; Marie Belew Wheatly, American Humane Association; Dr. Ron Gill, Texas A&M University; Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University; Dr. Tom Noffsinger, beef cattle handling expert, Benkelman, Neb.; Dr. Joseph Stookey, University of Saskatchewan, Western Veterinary College; Dr. Jeff Rushen, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Susan Church, Alberta Farm Animal Council; Dr. Karen Schwartzkopfh-Gesnswein, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; and Jennifer Woods, livestock handling expert, Blackie, AB Canada

Dan Thomson, Jones professor of production medicine and epidemiology at Kansas State University, and Joseph Stookey, professor of applied ethology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, will serve as commission co-chairs.

Several international advisory experts, including Stella Maris Huertas, DMTV, MSc. of Uruguay and Donald M. Broom, professor of animal welfare, University of Cambridge, U.K,. will provide the commission with additional perspective and enhance cooperation on animal welfare issues at the global level. Other international partners are expected to be added in the coming months.

Ad-hoc members of the commission include Dr. Elizabeth Parker, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Dr. Jim Sartwelle, American Farm Bureau Federation; Dr. Tom Field, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Ryder Lee, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association; Bryan Walton, National Cattle Feeders Association (Canada); Dr. Mike Siemens, Cargill Animal Protein; and Dr. Juan Ramon Gonzalez, Confederación Nacional De Organizaciones Ganaderas (Mexico).

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