Animal-care conference planned

By Amanda Currier

Animals will be joining the academic discussion today at 2 p.m. in the UK Gluck Equine Research Center.

Over the next two days, participants at the Animal Welfare and Behavior Mini-Symposium will discuss how animals are used in the agricultural industry, bringing attention to controversies.

“Animal welfare is an issue of high visibility in media and in general,” said Dr. Robert Harmon, chair of the animal and food sciences department.

The organizers of the event hope to make students and faculty more aware of animal-welfare issues.

“We want our faculty and students who are interested to come listen to experts in their field of animal behavior,” Harmon said.

Erika Voogd of Voogd Consulting Inc., a food service company in Chicago that provides animal-welfare training, will be the first of three speakers at the symposium. She will discuss animal-industry issues, including the humane handling of animal agriculture.

Ruth Newberry, an animal science professor at Washington State University, will describe the treatment of farm animals from the animals’ perspective.

At 5 p.m., following a roundtable discussion, students and faculty can attend a reception held at Good Barn across from Commonwealth Stadium.

“The reception is a casual time to interact with speakers,” Harmon said.

The event will continue tomorrow at 8 a.m. with a student forum at Good Barn moderated by Keith Schillo, an associate professor in the animal science department.

Candace Croney, an animal science professor at Oregon State University, will speak following the forum at the auditorium in the Plant Science Building, located on Farm Road. Her presentation will illustrate how animal welfare can be integrated into academic programs.

“Animal welfare has become more and more of an academic pursuit,” Harmon said.

The symposium will end with an event at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow with an open forum discussion that Harmon will moderate. The symposium is free and open to the public.