Ready for a challenge? Test your animal welfare knowledge

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Participants in the AVMA's Animal Welfare Assessment Contest(R)

Are you interested in taking your knowledge of animal welfare to a new level? The AVMA’s Animal Welfare Assessment Contest® takes place this fall and offers a learning opportunity like no other.

Created initially as a student competition, the contest is now open to a limited number of AVMA members and veterinary technicians, who can learn alongside the students as non-competing participants. Travel stipends are available to help defray costs for AVMA members who attend.

What is the competition?

Known informally as AWJAC®, the Animal Welfare Assessment Contest helps attendees work through the complexities of assessing animal welfare in different situations. Participants analyze the welfare of various types of animals in comparative scenarios, determine which scenario better supports the animals’ welfare, and present their decisions orally to judges.

Students compete for awards in four divisions: veterinary, graduate, undergraduate senior, and undergraduate junior. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians view the scenarios, present oral assessments, and receive scores, but don't compete for awards. For veterinarians interested in or working toward becoming a diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare, it’s a great opportunity to get a feel and practice for boards.

The event will be held November 17-19, 2023, at University of Wisconsin—River Falls, and will include assessments of farmed bison, zoo tortoises, cage-free laying hens, and laboratory rats. The laboratory rat scenario will be presented live, while the others will be virtual presentations. 

The event also features an educational tour in the local area. This year, participants can choose among a dairy farm, a farm with beef cattle and pigs, and the Minnesota Zoo. There’s also a networking event, which is always a high point, allowing participants to mingle with judges, coaches, and other attendees, and learn about animal welfare career opportunities.

Here’s how to attend

Up to eight AVMA members and five veterinary technicians can attend the competition. Participating AVMA members will receive stipends of $800 each to defray travel costs.

AVMA members interested in attending and receiving travel stipends must apply no later than October 6, 2023. Registration for all other attendees closes October 23, 2023.

Learn more and register on the event website,


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