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Enhancing Welfare Explored by Industry Leaders

by 5m Editor
29 July 2011, at 10:07am

US - Enhancing welfare in livestock production was explored by industry leaders at the second Annual Novus University Day.

Novus International, Inc. hosted its second annual Novus University Day, focused on Fostering Welfare in Livestock Production, on 26 July 2011 in St. Louis.

The day-long event, attended by Novus employees from around the world, industry experts and Novus affiliates, friends and families, provided a neutral forum for six nationally recognized experts to discuss the innovative solutions being developed by academia and industry to address the issues and public perceptions about the handling and treatment of livestock by today's producers.

The event also included a private screening of the EMMY Award-winning HBO film 'Temple Grandin', followed by a panel discussion led by Dr Temple Grandin.

Distinguished presenters and panelists at Novus University Day included:

  • Dr Frank Mitloehner, Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist at the University of California-Davis, who provided an overview of animal welfare issues and solutions industry-wide
  • Dr Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, who discussed a practical approach to improving animal welfare
  • Kathi Brock, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the American Humane Association, who discussed the dynamic of third-party animal welfare audits
  • Dr John McGlone, Professor of Animal Science at Texas Tech University, who provided an overview of innovations in husbandry and transportation to improve pig welfare
  • Dr Lindsey Hulbert, Post-Doctoral Scholar in Animal Sciences at University of California-Davis, whose presentation titled One Size Solution Doesn't Fit All reviewed housing developments in poultry and calves, and
  • Dr Michael Siemens, Leader-Animal Welfare and Husbandry at Cargill, who discussed the trends to enhance animal welfare at the beef packing plant level.

Dr Giovanni Gasperoni, Chief Administrative and Strategy Officer for Novus, moderated the presentations.

Dr Grandin, is a leading international authority in animal handling, said: "Our industry raises livestock for our society's use, which makes it important to handle production in ways that does not cause these animals additional stress. In this country, the livestock industry follows the production methodology wishes of retailers, who in turn reflect the overall desires of end food consumers."

Dr Gasperoni commented: "Novus is proud to have had such an esteemed group of industry leaders participate in this event to share their authoritative views on livestock production. It was an honour for all involved to meet Dr Grandin and to learn more about her story, which is truly inspirational. Her impact on animal welfare in the livestock industry has been significant and moved us forward in many ways."

Dr Grandin is a world-famous animal scientist and autism self-advocate and one of TIME magazine's '100 Most Influential People' in 2010. Her life story of overcoming educational, social and professional roadblocks to create a behavioural tool that revolutionsed the cattle industry is portrayed in the film, 'Temple Grandin'.

Dr Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities. She was the first to identify cattle 'flight zones' and design curved chute and race systems, thus reducing handling-stress for animals worldwide. More than 50 per cent of cattle in North America are handled at meat-packing plants that utilise Dr Grandin's signature centre-track restrainer system.

Thad Simons, President and CEO of Novus, said: "The livestock industry faces great challenge, promise and responsibility. This event provided a neutral forum for dialogue about emerging issues in animal welfare. Our goal was to encourage discussion from varying points of view in a professional setting where we can learn from one another. We are all responsible for helping the livestock industry move forward together."