Plans underway for 2019 animal welfare competition

Published on March 04, 2019

Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Assessment ContestDates have been set for the 19th annual Animal Welfare Assessment Contest, which will be held this fall in Colorado.

The competition, known as AWJAC, brings together university and veterinary students for in-depth education on how to use science-based methods and reasoning to assess animal welfare in different scenarios. Participants attend educational seminars given by animal welfare experts, then apply what they’ve learned by competing in both live and computer-based assessment exercises. A limited number of AVMA members also are able to participate each year.

Organized by the AVMA with funding and other resources provided by Merck Animal Health, the contest gives students best-in-class education, and the opportunity to evaluate evidence and present their findings. It prepares tomorrow's leaders in animal-related industries to have a firm grasp of animal welfare as well as strong communication skills.

Save the dates: Nov. 22-24

The 19th annual Animal Welfare Assessment Contest will be held Nov. 22-24 at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Col. Registration will open this summer, but interested students can begin putting together teams, planning and even practicing now, with resources on the contest website, awjac.org. This year’s participants will evaluate scenarios involving broiler chickens, laboratory Zebrafish, captive African painted dogs, and livestock slaughter.

Congratulations, 2018 winners

The 2018 competition was held last November and drew 145 competitors from across North America. Congratulations to these student winners, who took home individual and team awards after evaluating welfare conditions in scenarios involving dairy goats, egg-laying ducks, green iguanas, and polo ponies:

Veterinary Division

  • Live Assessment High-scoring Individual: Cassandra Kroncke, Kansas State University
  • Live Assessment High-scoring Team: The Ohio State University
  • Overall Individual Placing:
    • 1st: Jenny Schefski, Colorado State University
    • 2nd: Olivia Child, Michigan State University
    • 3rd: Emma Puckering, Ontario Veterinary College
    • 4th: Melanie Bizzarro, The Ohio State University
    • 5th: Jessica Plunkard, Virginia-Maryland
  • Overall Team Placing:
    • 1st: The Ohio State University
    • 2nd: Ontario Veterinary College
    • 3rd: Michigan State University
    • 4th: Virginia-Maryland
    • 5th: Colorado State University

Graduate Division

  • Live Assessment High-scoring Individual: Melissa Cantor, University of Kentucky
  • Live Assessment High-scoring Team: Michigan State University
  • Overall Individual Placing:
    • 1st: Quinn Rausch, University of Guelph
    • 2nd: Alycia Drwencke, University of California-Davis
    • 3rd: Hannah Phillips, University of Minnesota
    • 4th: Sarah MacLachlan, Michigan State University
    • 5th: Karli Chudeau, University of California-Davis
  • Overall Team Placing:
    • 1st: University of Guelph
    • 2nd: Michigan State University
    • 3rd: University of California-Davis

Undergraduate Division

  • Live Assessment High-scoring Individual: Madisen Baldwin, University of Kentucky
  • Live Assessment High-scoring Team: University of Minnesota-Maroon
  • Overall Individual Placing:
    • 1st: Zach England, The Ohio State University Team 2
    • 2nd: Kathryn McLellan, University of British Columbia Team A
    • 3rd: Cassandra Carolino, University of Guelph
    • 4th: Brynn McLellan, University of British Columbia Team 1
    • 5th: Atticus Clark, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Overall Team Placing:
    • 1st: University of Minnesota-Maroon
    • 2nd: Texas A&M University
    • 3rd: The Ohio State University Team 2
    • 4th: University of California, Davis
    • 5th: University of British Columbia Team A

Special thanks to our Animal Welfare Assessment Contest presenting partner, Merck Animal Health.

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