Prof. David Fraser and graduate student Devon Wilson hosted a national meeting in Vancouver on April 30-May 1. The meeting brought together 17 experts on the marketing of dairy calves — animals that are born on dairy farms but are then sold to other farms that raise them for slaughter. The meeting included dairy farmers, calf growers, auctioneers, veterinarians, government and scientists. Based on a rich 2-day discussion, the meeting will result in a consensus statement of recommendations to improve animal health and welfare outcomes.
The meeting was requested by Canada’s National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council, a national advisory body, which will work with government and the agricultural sector to implement the recommendations. Prof. Fraser serves on the Council as lead of the Animal Welfare Working Group. This is the second national “expert consultation” hosted by UBC on behalf of the Council.
As another local connection, three of the participants turned out to be graduates of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems who had taken the Animal Welfare Program’s course “Animal Welfare and the Ethics of Animal Use”.