Animal welfare contest draws record attendance; Meet the winners

Published on November 23, 2021
Collage of pig, bird and cats

Kudos to more than 260 participants in AVMA’s annual Animal Welfare Assessment Contest, who spent the better part of this past weekend honing their knowledge of animal welfare issues with help from some of the world’s leading experts.

Starting with a deep dive into “wicked welfare” issues facing today’s veterinarians, and progressing through assessment of realistic animal welfare scenarios and announcement of the contest winners, these attendees packed an unparalleled amount of learning – and fun – into their weekend.

Meet the winners

The 21st AVMA Animal Welfare Assessment Contest took place online Friday through Sunday, November 19-21, with a record-high number of participants representing eight nations and 28 universities. Special congratulations are in order for the student and team winners in all divisions: veterinary students, graduate students, and undergraduates. 

Along with the students, the participants included 25 veterinarians and veterinary technicians, who did not compete for awards but received 6 hours of continuing education (CE) credit for taking part in all activities. The 2021 competition included assessments of pet parrots, boar studs, and cats in a research setting.

Meet the winners in each category for the veterinary student division:

Team competition: Overall

  • 1st place: Long Island University Team 1
  • 2nd place: Ohio State University
  • 3rd place: Michigan State University
  • 4th place: Atlantic Veterinary College
  • 5th place: Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph

Team competition: Interactive assessment

  • 1st place: Atlantic Veterinary College

Individual student: Overall

  • 1st place: Tannaz Zafarnia, Long Island University
  • 2nd place: Magnus Yoshimura, Long Island University
  • 3rd place: Bayla Bessemer, Michigan State University
  • 4th place: Julie French, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph
  • 5th place: Shannon Kelley, Ohio State University

Individual student: Interactive assessment

  • 1st place: Jasmine Hanson, Iowa State University

View a complete list of winners in the AVMA press release announcing the results, and past winners on the contest website.

What is the competition?

The contest gives participants a unique opportunity to analyze the welfare of a variety of animals in comparative scenarios, judge whether the welfare of animals in one scenario is better or worse than the other, and present their decisions orally to judges. They also attend presentations on a variety of animal welfare issues, plus networking events that connect them more deeply with like-minded colleagues. It’s truly the premier event for both students and veterinary professionals interested in animal welfare.

To get a sense for what the competition entails, test your own abilities with these interactive quizzes. You also can view sample scenarios from past events.


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