May 4, 2008; Key animal welfare issues are set to be discussed at a British Veterinary Association conference on May 20.

The latest in the increasingly popular BVA Animal Welfare Foundation will debate modern issues regarding animal welfare.The Discussion Forum which brings fellow vets, animal welfare and government organisations together in order to identify and discuss important welfare-related issues.The morning sessions are devoted to debating whether people can actually afford high animal welfare standards in food production and will include presentations from Richard Bennett of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee, Heather Jenkins, Waitrose’s Director of Meat, Poultry, Dairy and Fish as well as speakers from Freedom Food and the Quality Food winning company Moy Park.The afternoon sessions have been split into two: the first will address two companion animal issues, designer animals or breeding for welfare with presentations by Emma Milne, the frequently outspoken ‘TV Vet’ and Julia May of the UK Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and Electrical aid or shock collar? with presentations by Carolyn Mentieth of the Kennel Club and Lord Duncan McNair of the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association.The final session of the day is sponsored by the Norman Hayward Fund – earmarked for research into the diseases and welfare of sheep, cattle and horses – and will include presentations on both the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and Edinburgh University laminitis studies and the casualty slaughter of sheep.Aimed primarily at its network of representatives from each of the BVA’s specialist and territorial divisions a number of organisations and individuals with an animal welfare remit or interest have also been invited to participate in the discussion forum and the evening reception that will follow at the House of Commons, hosted by The Rt Hon Dr Gavin Strang MP.

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