UC-Davis system starts welfare advisory council

UC-Davis system starts welfare advisory council

Jun 20, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Davis, Calif. -- An Animal Welfare Advisory Council has been formed at the University of California-Davis to review welfare issues related to food animals and to promote science-based recommendations to improve the welfare of livestock and poultry.

Comprised of veterinarians, animal-science professionals and other experts from the University of California system, the California State University system, Colorado State University and the private sector, the council will perform a number of services, including:

• review current production practices;
• request information and white papers on issues of concern
• identify gaps in the knowledge base;
• make recommendations for research projects and training programs to promote the adoption and implementation of best management practices by industry; and
• serve as a resource for policymakers, animal agriculture producers and other interested parties.

"The UC Animal Welfare Council brings together broad perspectives and specialized expertise to address the humane care and treatment of agricultural animals, while supporting the efforts of producers to provide safe and healthy food products for society," said Bennie Osburn, dean of the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and vice chair of the council."By working to ensure proper treatment of production animals, we hope to improve the safety of the food supply and, ultimately, strengthen consumer confidence in foods of animal origin," she says.

California's state veterinarian and council member Richard Breitmeyer stresses the University of California must play a leadership role in the examination of animal production practices, given the "many challenges" being faced by animal agriculture in the state.

In November, voters approved Proposition 2, which called for changes to housing for food animals.

The first meeting of the Animal Welfare Advisory Council was held May 4 in Davis.