WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The 2021 CAWS Virtual Symposium, set for May 19-20, will focus on understanding how the pandemic has influenced perceptions about the human-animal bond. “One Welfare: What has COVID-19 taught us about balancing human and animal interests?” will also explore the effects of the pandemic on animal welfare, human health and well-being.
“There have been relatively few animal behavior and welfare meetings lately because of COVID-19, especially ones that cover these topics,” said Candace Croney, director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science (CAWS) and a professor of animal behavior and well-being who holds a joint appointment in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. “The symposium is an excellent opportunity to bring together people with livestock interests and those with companion animal interests, as well as those focused on socio-ethical and economic considerations that warrant greater attention in discussions about animal welfare.”
Keynote speakers are Heather Fowler, the director of producer and public health at the National Pork Board, and Jennifer Applebaum, a sociology Ph.D. student at the University of Florida.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many already-existing social inequalities, further disadvantaging marginalized populations,” Applebaum said. “These inequalities threaten the human-animal bond and carry very real consequences for the welfare of human and animal members of multispecies families.”
General admission is $70, with special discounted rates available to students and CAWS members. Fees will support CAWS programming.
There will be a limited number of scholarships available, made possible through sponsorship by Cargill and others wishing to support the program.
“To increase access to our discipline and create new opportunities to engage on animal welfare, we are happy to work with people to remove barriers to accessing animal welfare education programs to ensure they can attend,” Croney said.
Registration is open. The site contains a schedule of speakers, including Jayson Lusk, Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University.
“Animal agriculture industries have been hit hard by a battery of economic forces over the past year,” said Lusk, who will discuss the impacts of the pandemic on animal agriculture and future animal protein demand.
The Center for Animal Welfare Science is jointly supported by Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and College of Veterinary Medicine.
The symposium is undergoing the Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) program’s certification process, provided by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Sixty-one jurisdictions and provinces accept RACE credits for veterinary medicine continuing education. Participants wanting to earn the event’s eight credits are encouraged to sign up for RACEtrack to expedite the process.