March 15, 2018

 

 Students tested on animal welfare knowledge

​Posted Feb. 28, 2018

More than a hundred students from over a dozen universities participated in the 17th annual Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest, Nov. 18-19, 2017, hosted by Iowa State University.

Individual and team competitors in the contest, supported by the AVMA and Student AVMA, must analyze the welfare of animals presented in comparative scenarios, determine whether the animals' welfare in one scenario is better or worse than in the other, and then explain their decisions to a panel of judges.

Students virtually assessed the welfare of farmed fish, meat rabbits, and racing Greyhounds and assessed the welfare of finisher pigs on a small commercial teaching farm.

Along with demonstrating the welfare needs of a range of species, the competition gives veterinary, undergraduate, and graduate students the opportunity to develop critical thinking and oral presentation skills. Enhanced knowledge of animal welfare, a strong analytic mindset, and well-honed communication skills are valuable takeaways that serve AWJAC participants throughout their education and careers. Results of the 2017 contest are as follows:

Veterinary student division: Live assessment high-scoring individual: Donna Sellner, Iowa State University. Live assessment high-scoring team: Michigan State University, Team 1. Overall individual: First place—Claire Hovenga, Colorado State University; second place—Graefin Von Waldburg-Zeil, University of Guelph; third place—Rachel Baumgardner, Michigan State University, Team 1; fourth place—Jillian Garrison, The Ohio State University; and fifth place—Anne Meyers, Michigan State University, Team 2. Overall team placing: first place—The Ohio State University; second place—Michigan State University, Team 1; third place—Colorado State University; fourth place—Iowa State University; and fifth place—University of Guelph.

Graduate student division: Live assessment high-scoring individual: Rielle Perttu, University of Minnesota. Live assessment high-scoring team: Purdue University, Team 2. Overall individual: First place—Megan LaFollette, Purdue University, Team 2; second place—Heather MacElwee, University of Guelph; third place—Elizabeth Johnstone, Colorado State University; fourth place—Dana Wagner, Colorado State University; and fifth place—Rebecca Parra, University of Guelph. Overall team placing: First place—Purdue University, Team 2; second place—University of Guelph; third place—Colorado State University; fourth place—Purdue University; and fifth place—Michigan State University.

Undergraduate student division: Live assessment high-scoring team: University of Guelph, Team Red. Overall individual placing: first place—Heather Pechtl, The Ohio State University, Team A; second place—Valerie Higginson, University of Guelph, Team Red; third place—Nadia Xenakis, University of British Columbia, Team A; fourth place—Shelby Goncalves, University of Guelph, Team Black; and fifth place—Katie Radcliffe, University of British Columbia, Team 1. Overall team placing: first place—The Ohio State University, Team A; second place—University of Guelph, Team Red; third place—University of British Columbia, Team A; fourth place—University of British Columbia, Team 1; and fifth place—Iowa State University.

Information about the 2018 Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest being held Nov. 16-18 will be posted at www.awjac.org.