Test your animal welfare knowledge

Published on September 11, 2017

Opportunity for AVMA members, veterinary students

Animal Welfare Assessment Test Your SkillsVeterinarians and veterinary students interested in gaining deeper insight into the complexities of animal welfare assessments should consider applying to participate in the 17th annual Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest (AWJAC), to be held this November.

The event, sponsored by the AVMA with Merck Animal Health, presents a variety of different scenarios, which participants judge for the levels of animal welfare exhibited in each setting. Originally designed as a competition solely for students, the event was expanded last year to include opportunities for veterinarians to attend as well.

Veterinarians: Stipends available to help you attend

Thanks to an AVMA-Merck partnership, we’re pleased to be able to offer travel stipends to enable up to five AVMA members to attend this year’s competition, which will be held Nov. 18-19 at Iowa State University. This is a unique opportunity to become more proficient in assessing animal welfare while also connecting with like-minded colleagues and interacting with veterinary, graduate and undergraduate students from around the globe.

The AWJAC curriculum teaches crucial skills that are essential not only to tomorrow’s leaders, but also to today’s veterinary professionals. If you are an AVMA member interested in attending the competition as a non-competing participant, complete this member application form and return it by Sept. 25 to the email address included on the form. Up to five AVMA members will be selected to participate in the event and receive a stipend of up to $1,000 each toward associated travel costs. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by Oct. 9.

Student teams: Enter by Oct. 9

The two-day AWJAC event is a team-based competition that educates students in the integrated use of science-based methods and ethical standards in conducting animal welfare assessments across a broad range of scenarios. The contest also provides a unique opportunity for participants to hone their critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills.

Participants evaluate several hypothetical/virtual scenarios and one live/on-site scenario to determine levels of welfare in the animals observed.  Students then present their findings to veterinary and animal welfare experts who serve as judges. Awards are given to the highest-placing individuals and teams in each student division.

Additional information about the contest, as well as entry forms and tips for preparation, are available on the contest website, at awjac.org.

Welfare Assessment: Working Horses Test Your SkillsTest your skills with interactive quizzes

If you’re curious to see where your animal welfare assessment skills stand today, you can find out by taking interactive quizzes based on some of the welfare scenarios presented at previous competitions:

Then, head over to AWJAC.org  to learn more about what you can gain by attending this year’s event, either as a student or as an AVMA member veterinarian.


Thank you to Merck Animal Health for providing funding and other resources in support of AWJAC.