DES MOINES, Iowa — The National Pork Board has announced that its first-ever Pig Welfare Symposium will take place Nov. 7-9, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa. The forum is designed to help improve the well-being of pigs by disseminating recent research findings and recommendations, raising awareness of current and emerging issues and identifying potential solutions.
“The symposium provides a forum for sharing ideas, learning from other segments of the industry and fostering dialogue on pig welfare-related issues,” said Sherrie Webb, director of animal welfare for the Pork Checkoff. “We hope that a broad spectrum of people will attend, including producers, veterinarians, academia, packers and processors and allied industry partners.”
To get the early-bird discount, Webb advises those interested to register before Aug. 1. After that, the cost will increase from $150 to $200 per person. A reduced student rate and virtual attendance options also are being offered. For more information, go to pork.org/pws.
“The Pig Welfare Symposium will provide stimulating presentations from experts on past, current and future animal welfare issues. They will offer their perspectives on how the pork industry can continue to evolve to meet the needs of animals, producers and consumers,” said Paul Ayers, chair of the Checkoff’s Animal Welfare Committee and Manager of Animal Care at The Maschhoffs.
Aside from its main speaker agenda, the two-day symposium also will offer optional hands-on interactive workshops for an additional fee. These will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn more about topics, such as low-stress pig handling, on-farm euthanasia and understanding the Common Swine Industry Audit.
Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with experts at various technical exhibits and can interact with the professionals and students who will participate in the symposium’s poster sessions.
“If you want to know about the current challenges related to pig welfare and what’s on the horizon, then the Pig Welfare Symposium is for you,” Ayers said.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at pork.org.
— The National Pork Board
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