Dr. Patricia Turner named recipient of 2022 AVMA Animal Welfare Award

For more information Phone: 847-285-6687 Cell: 847-732-6194
For immediate release:
Dr. Patricia Turner
View Dr. Patricia Turner's Animal Welfare Award acceptance speech below.

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) May 5, 2022—To honor her decades dedicated to improving farm and laboratory animal welfare through teaching, training, service, research, advocacy and policy development, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today recognized Dr. Patricia Turner, corporate vice president of Global Animal Welfare for Charles River Laboratories, as the winner of the 2022 AVMA Animal Welfare Award.

The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is presented to an AVMA member veterinarian in recognition of their achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development and/or advocacy. It is one of three Animal Welfare and Human-Animal Bond Excellence Awards presented annually by the AVMA and supported through educational funding from Merck Animal Health.

"I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award from the AVMA," said Dr. Turner. "Improving the lives of animals has been a lifelong passion for me—through my own research and efforts, but also through professional collaborations, and educating, supporting and inspiring excellence in others. Advancing animal welfare is an important and ongoing journey for us all."

Dr. Turner has devoted countless hours as a volunteer promoting the ethical treatment of animals in science around the world. Her passion for animal welfare education and training runs deep, and she has delivered lectures, seminars and workshops to a range of veterinary and scientific audiences, on a variety of topics related to laboratory animal science and animal welfare and ethics. As an educator, she has trained hundreds of veterinary peers and students, and developed three well-regarded post-graduate programs for veterinarians specializing in laboratory animal science. Dr. Turner and her team are now developing an in-house online certificate program in animal welfare for laboratory animal technicians.

In her role at Charles River Laboratories, Dr. Turner is responsible for assessing welfare risks and developing animal welfare policy and related training for the company's sites within the United States and around the world. Her work has directly impacted how animals are raised, cared for and worked with across global sites.

Dr. Turner is also a professor emerita and applied animal welfare scientist at the University of Guelph and Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, where her current research interests include research animal behavioral management, compassion science for laboratory animal professionals, research animal pain recognition and mitigation, and euthanasia.

Dr. Turner began her veterinary career as a mixed, mostly food animal, practitioner working in a rural setting, which provided a solid basis for her later research with farmed pigs, rabbits, and poultry, as well as ongoing activities in national and international policy development for farm animal and research animal welfare.

A graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, Dr. Turner is a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, the American Board of Toxicology and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioral Medicine, specializing in animal welfare science, ethics and law. She is the immediate past president of the World Veterinary Association (WVA), where she led numerous initiatives to spread animal welfare knowledge and reward those promoting best practices. She is also the past chair of the WVA's Animal Welfare Strategic Focus Group, where she helped produce several animal welfare factsheets and position statements on global issues and supported the development of new WVA-sponsored global animal welfare awards.

For the AVMA, Dr. Turner has been a member of the Animal Welfare Committee (2008-2014)—leading multiple policy discussions working groups throughout her tenure—and the Model Animal Welfare Curriculum Working Group (2011-2015). She has also actively supported and championed the AVMA Animal Welfare Judging Competition, including as a scenario reviewer and writer (2014-2016), and speaker and judge (2017). Dr. Turner is the current AVMA House of Delegates representative for the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners.

In 2014, Dr. Turner received the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Humane Award for national contributions to animal welfare.

For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell/text) or msanfilippoatavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).

About the AVMA

Serving more than 105,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.