DES MOINES, Iowa — The National Pork Board has announced that its second Pig Welfare Symposium will take place Nov. 13-14 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The biennial forum, which debuted in 2017, 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.
“We’re pleased to be building on the initial success of the 2017 symposium,” said Sara Crawford, assistant vice president of animal welfare for the Pork Checkoff. “We will continue to make the sharing of ideas and information about animal well-being the focus of this meeting. We expect and encourage producers, veterinarians, academia, packers and processors and allied industry partners to attend.”
The symposium will provide presentations from experts on past, current and future animal welfare issues, including looking at the evolution of animal welfare in the supply chain and understanding consumer choices. The speakers will offer their perspectives on how the pork industry can continue to evolve to meet the needs of animals, producers and consumers.
“The Pig Welfare Symposium doesn’t just ‘talk’ about pig welfare, it provides hands-on experiences to take back to the farm,” said Ashley DeDecker, director of production research with Smithfield Foods and chair of the Pork Checkoff’s Animal Welfare Committee. “The symposium also brings difficult, but important topics to the forefront of conversation, making it a must-attend event.”
Aside from the main speaker agenda, the two-day symposium also will offer optional hands-on interactive workshops for an additional fee. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about low-stress pig handling, foreign animal disease preparation, day-1 pig care and other topics. For the first time, a Spanish-only pre-event, Improving Pig Welfare on Farm, also will be offered.
Symposium attendees will have the chance to visit with experts at various technical exhibits and to interact with the professionals and students who will participate in the event’s poster sessions.
For an early-bird registration discount, register by Aug. 8. 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 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.
— Pork Checkoff
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