Guelph university chosen for “virtual” poultry welfare centre
By Canadian PoultryFeatures Profiles Researchers
Sept. 18, 2009 – A "virtual centre" to serve as a centre for research
into poultry behaviour and welfare will be based at the University of
Sept. 18, 2009 – A "virtual centre" to serve as a centre for research into poultry behaviour and welfare will be based at the University of Guelph.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Poultry Industry Council and the Canadian Poultry Research Council chose Guelph from seven schools across Canada looking to house their joint initiative.
Officials from each agency are to be on a new advisory committee, to develop the new centre's research cluster and offer advice on research strategies, the university said, in a news release.
Poultry welfare experts from Guelph's department of animal and poultry science and its Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare are to lead the new centre.
"Poultry behaviour and welfare requires a multi-faceted approach," Campbell Centre director and Guelph professor Tina Widowski said in the release. "We have a breadth of behaviour and welfare expertise already at Guelph, and now we have industry representation as well."
A "critical mass" of poultry welfare science is expected to attract more researchers, she added. "The idea is to build the intellectual capacity in Canada to tackle the myriad issues relating to poultry welfare."
Under the partnership agreement, AAFC has assigned one of its livestock research scientists, Stephanie Torrey, previously based at Lennoxville, Que., to Guelph's department of animal and poultry science.
Torrey, a behavioural and animal welfare expert who previously co-authored papers with Widowski, has studied abnormal and social behaviour, sickness behaviour, transportation, housing and routine management procedures, the university said.
Along with her research, it's expected that Torrey will help in graduate teaching and training, and in improving communication and collaboration among Canadian animal welfare experts, the university added.
The new centre and Torrey's appointment are the first steps in a plan to establish Guelph as the national leader in the field, Widowski said in the release.
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