Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and the World Association for Buiatrics (WAB) have signed a long-term cooperative agreement to foster research related to animal welfare in ruminants.
The Ruminant Well-Being Award will be presented at each World Buiatrics Congress for at least the next six years. By doing so, WAB and Boehringer Ingelheim intend to raise public awareness of the important role veterinarians play in continuous improvement of animal welfare in food-producing ruminants. This is an additional component of Boehringer Ingelheim's long-term commitment to improving the health and well-being of farm animals.
"It is of the utmost importance to us to constantly improve animal welfare. By doing so, we can additionally guarantee the production of high-quality food of animal origin for humans," WAB president professor Walter Baumgartner said. "As an internationally acknowledged association for veterinarians working in the field of ruminants, we, therefore, strongly recommend that farm animals be provided with good animal welfare conditions."
The Ruminant Well-Being Award will comprise 15,000 euros in cash, plus an invitation to the World Buiatrics Congress, where the award ceremony will be held. Veterinarians from around the world working in the field of bovine/ruminant health gather at this congress in alternating years. The next is scheduled for July 3-8 in Dublin, Ireland.
The award will be open to practicing veterinary surgeons, researchers or graduate students in veterinary (or animal) science. The award aims to recognize improvements in understanding and assessing pain or well-being in ruminants. It is hoped that candidates will have invented or validated methods to assess ruminant well-being on the farm or will have worked out strategies related to improving ruminant welfare on working farms. Educational efforts may also be recognized, such as raising awareness of issues of concern and changing human attitudes and behavior to ensure proper stewardship of ruminants.
The winner of the award will be selected by an independent expert panel under the supervision of Xavier Manteca, professor in applied ethology at the University of Barcelona and founder of the Farm Animal Welfare Education Centre (www.fawec.org).
"Animal welfare has become fundamentally important not only for ethical reasons but also to guarantee the sustainability of the livestock industry. I am sure this award will make a significant contribution to ruminant welfare all over the world," Manteca said.
A “call for applications” will soon be published on the WAB website (www.buiatrics.com) and communicated to veterinarians globally through the WAB newsletter.
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is the sixth-largest animal health business in the world and is committed to providing leading innovative solutions to prevent, treat and cure animal diseases.
WAB is an independent international association and legal entity. Its objectives are to organize meetings on diseases and production of cattle (buiatrics) in order to report the results of research work and other practical experiences in buiatrics and to discuss these topics in an international forum to, thus, promote all aspects of buiatrics in both science and practice.