Agriculture News

May 16, 2016  

Strong interest in Purdue forum on well-being of dogs

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Registration for a new Purdue Extension forum on the care, welfare and societal issues associated with breeding of dogs has sold out, underscoring the increasing need for expert, science-based information on how to ensure the well-being of companion animals.

Among the registrants for the Canine Welfare Science Forum on Thursday (May 19) are breeders, scientists, veterinarians and policymakers, among others concerned about the ethical treatment of dogs.

The forum, which can hold 200 people, is a joint presentation of the colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine.

"This is Purdue's leadership in action, but it's also the interest and collaboration among breeders, policymakers, thought influencers and other stakeholders in animal welfare that is really making this possible," said Candace Croney, associate professor of animal behavior and well-being in both colleges and the lead organizer of the forum.

Croney, who is leading research to develop national standards for the care and well-being of dogs bred commercially, said the treatment of such dogs is a major issue in the pet industry and among the public. An update on the research will be presented.

"It's a time for positive action based on science, ethics and collaboration," she said. "That is what this meeting is about - sharing information to help us work together in trying to meet all of the welfare needs of dogs."   

Croney also is director of the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science, which is having its second annual animal welfare symposium the previous day. Croney said some people plan to attend both meetings because of their interest not only in the well-being of dogs, but also of other companion animals as well as those used in agriculture.

Croney noted that over half of the registrants for the forum are breeders from the Amish community, who often are criticized for their treatment of dogs.

"They have the least access to much of the information we have," she said. "But their numbers at this meeting show the Amish community's interest and commitment to learning and improving on canine care and well-being."  

Among speakers are Nicole Olynk Widmar, a Purdue University agricultural economist who will share her research on public perceptions of dog welfare. 

Lunch speaker will be Patti Strand, president of the National Animal Interest Alliance, who will give a presentation on intended and unintended consequences of the transformation of the U.S. dog marketplace.

Details of the program and registration information are available at http://bit.ly/1shbB0x.

Sponsors of the program include the World Pet Association, Pet Food Institute, Indiana Council for Animal Welfare, American Kennel Club and Family of Pets.

The forum is intended to be an annual event, with different canine welfare science topics each year. 

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu 

Source: Candace Croney, 765-496-6665, ccroney@purdue.edu

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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