Students assessed on their animal welfare knowledge

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The 13th annual Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging/Assessment Contest was held Nov. 23-24, 2013, at the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph in Ontario. 

The competition is an educational tool that helps veterinary students and undergraduate and graduate students in animal science programs understand complex welfare issues. Participants learn objective assessment of animal welfare on the basis of scientific theory and data, critical thinking, and ethical reasoning, and they learn communication skills. 

A total of 92 students and 20 teams competed in the latest contest. They were tasked with analyzing the welfare of animals presented in comparative scenarios, determining whether the welfare of animals in one scenario was better or worse than the other, and then explaining their decisions to a panel of judges. Species covered in the contest included donkeys, mink, turkeys, and dry dairy cows used in a live assessment.

The AVMA provided nearly $28,000 of support for the contest, including $400 travel grants for 25 veterinary students to attend.
Veterinary Student Section: First place—Chris Hauser, University of Guelph; second place—Vivienne Phelan, University College Dublin; third place—Natasha Hunte, University College Dublin. Undergraduate Section: First place—Victoria Blake, Michigan State University; second place—Austin Major, Colorado State University; third place—Kelly Arthur, Colorado State University (team 1). Graduate Section: First place­—Meagan King, University of Guelph; second place—Dana Wagner, University of Wisconsin-Madison; third place—Mary Franks, Colorado State University.
Team Live Assessment Exercise: Veterinary Student Section­—Iowa State University. Undergraduate Section—Colorado State University (team 1). Graduate Section—University of Guelph. Individual Live Assessment Exercise—Dana Wagner.
Overall Team Placing: Veterinary Student Section: First place—University College Dublin; second place—University of Guelph; third place—Michigan State University. Undergraduate Section: First place—Colorado State University (team 2); second place—Michigan State University; third place—Colorado State University (team 1). Graduate Student Section: First place—University of Guelph; second place—Colorado State University; third place—Purdue University.