Wednesday, July 10, 2013

U of Ark. Animal Wellbeing Symposium set for Aug. 1

By The Cooperative Extension Service
U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:
·       3rd annual advances and current issues in animal wellbeing set for Aug. 1
·       Registration is free, deadline is July 26
·       Register online at

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A chef. A vet. A fast food chain administrator. Their careers and points of view are varied, but all share one link: animal agriculture. Hear them talk about that connection Aug. 1, at the third annual symposium on advances and issues in animal wellbeing.

The one-day symposium is presented by the Center for Food Animal Wellbeing, a unit of University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Registration is free and those planning to attend should register by July 26. Online registration is available at

The event, being held on the University of Arkansas campus in the Leland Tollett Auditorium, opens at 7:30 a.m. with registration and continental breakfast.

“The objective is a better understanding of animal wellbeing/welfare and why so many are confused,” said Yvonne Vizzier Thaxton, director for the Center for Food Animal Wellbeing.

Karen Christensen, chairman, Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, sees the symposium as the go-to meeting to bring all of the stakeholders together to discuss welfare.” 

“This meeting is for anyone who has an interest in animal welfare, from producers to retailers to consumers,” she said. “It brings everyone together in one room.”

Christensen will be speaking about auditing – the assessment of animal care  -- from a welfare perspective.

“What makes good audits and good auditors?” she said. “This is important information for anyone being audited, requesting audits or performing audits.”

The agenda for the event:
·       Why Animal Welfare and Why Now? - Jennifer Walker, director, Dairy Stewardship, Dean Foods
·       A Veterinarian’s View - Jeffrey Courtney, director of veterinarian services, Pilgrim’s Pride
·       Nuisance Law and Farming - Rusty W. Rumley, National Agricultural Law Center
·       A Chef’s View of Animal Welfare - Michael Formicella, president, co-owner of Chella Foods, Chicago
·       ABCs of Auditing Animal Welfare - Karen Christensen, chairman, Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, or PAACO
·       The Media – A fact of Life – Sara Lilygren, executive vice president of Corporate Affairs, Tyson Foods
·       A Customer’s Perspective - Bruce Feinberg, senior director, Global Quality, McDonald’s
·       Livestock Sales - Next Frontier- Laura Marks, director of Animal Handling,
Kansas Livestock Board, and Chris Ashworth, DVM, Chairman of Animal
Agriculture Alliance Board.

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