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September 26, 2015 at 9:00AM - 4:00PM
Ontario Veterinary College, Lifetime Learning Centre Rm 1714
Ontario Veterinary College, Gordon Street, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1
The OVC Animal Welfare Forum is an annual event put on by the OVC Animal Welfare Club. The forum is an educational event where we have speakers come to discuss their particular areas of expertise related to the well-being of animals.
Donations for the Care-A-Thon Scholarship and the Animal Welfare Club are greatly appreciated and can be made below. University requirements prevent the Animal Welfare Club from charging a registration fee for this event and the club puts a lot of hours and funds into running the forum, therefore we would be very grateful for donations. Please note that if you require a tax receipt for your donation, one can be made up for the day of the forum.
Talks this year include:
'Animal Rights from a Legal Perspective' presented by Lesli Bisgould, BA, LLB
'Safe guarding the welfare of laboratory animals in Canada' presented by Dr. Cathy Schuppli
'Northern Ontario Dogs: Population Control & Vaccination Pilot Project' presented by Dr. Catherine Filejski
'Asking the Animals' presented by Dr. Ian Duncan
'Horse Behaviour and Application of the Learning Theory in Equine Veterinary Medicine' presented by Dr. Katrina Merkies
Meet the speakers!
Lesli Bisgould, BA, LLB
Lesli Bisgould was called to the Ontario bar in 1992. She left a position at a respected Toronto litigation firm to start her own practice in animal
rights law. For ten years, she acted for individuals and organizations in a variety of animal-related cases. She maintains an interest in the
field, writing, speaking and teaching, including instructing a course about animals and the law at the University of Toronto's faculty of law where she is an adjunct professor. Lesli has worked in the human rights field as well, first at ARCH Disability Law Centre and currently as the Barrister at Legal Aid Ontario's Clinic Resource Office where she assists caseworkers at Ontario's community legal clinics with their appeals. Lesli is the author of the first Canadian law text about animal rights, Introduction to Animals and the Law, published by Irwin Law in 2011.
Dr. Cathy Schuppli
Cathy is a veterinarian and an interdisciplinary scholar who bridges the social and natural sciences. She began her career as a wildlife biologist with a BSc in zoology from the University of Guelph and an MSc in Zoology from the University of Alberta. Combined with her compassion for animals and desire to safeguard their welfare, Cathy has been drawn towards research that explores the relationship of humans with animals. Thus, for her PhD, which was carried out in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia, she studied how Animal Care Committees in Canadian institutions make decisions about the ethical use of animals in science.
She continued research in the area of animals used in science as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow in the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics at the University of British Columbia. There she explored the overlapping governance issues related to the use of animals and humans in research. She has carried out a number of surveys and interviews to better understand views of people towards animals and animal welfare of animals used in science and for food. Ultimately her goal is to apply research findings to improve policy and practice related to the use of animals.
In 2009 Cathy returned to school to study veterinary medicine. In 2013 she joined the clinical veterinarian team at the University of British Columbia where she currently works as a laboratory animal veterinarian. She continues her own research on a novel project using trained rats to increase empathy and compassion amongst animal users.
Dr. Catherine Filejski
Dr. Filejski’s professional and academic background includes expertise in international relations, public policy, public health and veterinary medicine. Two years after completing her DVM degree at the OVC, she joined the Public Health Division of the ministry in 2008, where she provides veterinary public health advice and expertise on zoonotic disease issues to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as local public health units across the province. As part of her large portfolio as the provincial Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Filejski has recently been working on developing an evidence-based approach to the management of dog-overpopulation issues in remote northern First Nations communities, which focuses on improving the health and safety of both the people and the dogs of these communities.
Dr. Ian Duncan
Ian Duncan is Professor Emeritus and Emeritus Chair in Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph. He has been carrying our research into the welfare of animals since 1965 and was thus one of the first people to bring a scientific approach to solving welfare problems. His approach has been to develop methods of “asking” animals what they feel about the conditions in which they are kept and the procedures to which they are subjected. He has published more than 160 scientific papers most of which are connected to animal welfare. Although officially “retired”, Ian is still heavily involved in teaching and this year his first-year Animal Welfare course had 225 students enrolled. He has won many awards for his research and earlier this year he was given the University Medal of Merit for his contribution to teaching at the University.
Dr. Katrina Merkies
Katrina Merkies has been a professor at the University of Guelph since 2006 and in that time she was responsible for the development and implementation of the BBRM Equine Management degree program at the Kemptville Campus (now transitioned to the Guelph campus) as well as teaching a variety of equine-focussed courses. As one can then imagine, Merkies has always had a passion for horses having started riding at the age of four. At 18 Merkies took to the sport of Dressage and went on to win both medium level and freestyle dressage at Canadian National Dressage Championships in 1999 as well as coaching the National Intercollegiate Dressage Championship team from Lake Erie College in Ohio in 2005. While still enjoying riding where she can, Merkies’ current focus is in her research of equine behaviour and welfare, specifically looking at the intricacies of the horse-human interaction. Having recently spent three months in Australia researching the impact of breed variation in skull structure on brain organization, Merkies is an avid traveller and often presents her research at international conferences. Merkies is a board member on the National Association of Equine-Affiliated Academics (NAEAA) and was recently elected as a council member for the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES) at the 2015 conference in Vancouver.
The Forum will be held in the Lifetime Learning Centre in room 1714. Parking is available at the Ontario Veterinary College in parking lots P64, P25, P26, P29, or P30.
**Please inform us of any special dietary requirements, as lunch is provided. Please include this information in the "message" part of the registration.
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