Animal Scientists Encouraged to Contribute to Public Debate Over Animal Agriculture

Farmscape for February 10, 2015

A professor of swine nutrition with the University of Guelph suggests animal scientists have a key role to play in the public debate over the appropriateness of livestock production.
A Bright Future for Animal Science: Perspective from an Animal Nutritionist is the topic of the 2015 TK Cheung Lecture in Animal Science today at the University of Manitoba.
Dr. Kees de Lange, a professor of swine nutrition with the University of Guelph and research program director for animal production systems, says because we have only so much land, and so much water, and so many resources available, we want to minimize the environmental footprint of animal production.

Clip-Dr. Kees de Lange-University of Guelph:
At the same time we also know that animal production is under some public pressure and we need to deal with those arguments, and really contribute to the debate about how we raise and how we manage animals, and involve the general public in that debate.
If you look at the global population there are really two aspects.
We in the western world, we are well off and our demands for food are very different in the developing countries.
If you look ahead in the developing countries so think about the far east, think about South America, that's where most of the increase in demand for animal protein will occur, so we need to recognize that and make sure that we produce it in a sustainable way.
But also in western society there is increased emphasis on some of the ethics of animal production and some of the way in which we manage those animals and we need to make sure that we are engaging as animal scientists in the public debate about the appropriateness of animal production and need to be sensitive to some of the critique and come up with solutions and communicate those solutions to the consumers as well.

The annual TK Cheung Lecture is scheduled to run today from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm in room 219 of the Animal Science Building at the University of Manitoba.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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