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MU CVM Students Capture
Fourth Place in Animal Welfare Contest

The MU CVM Crazy Heifers team included (from left) Melissa Austin, Naomi Turner, Rachael Cohen, Cia Johnson and Claire Beckmeyer. Faculty member Dr. Richard Meadows helped coach the team to fourth-place honors.

Five MU College of Veterinary Medicine students captured team and individual honors during the Eighth Annual Animal Welfare Judging/Assessment Competition. The MU CVM students were among approximately 70 contestants competing at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Cia Johnson, Melissa Austin, Claire Beckmeyer, Rachael Cohen and Naomi Turner formed team Crazy Heifers and represented the MU CVM – the first time the CVM has taken part in the event. However, their novice status did not stand in the way of their success; they took fourth place in the team competition with Cohen placing fourth in the overall individual category and Johnson earning fifth-place individual honors.

The team contest entailed making observations and gathering data during a visit to a Michigan State poultry farm where chicken, turkey and quail are raised. The individual contests focused on cat, dairy cow, and Przewalski’s Horse scenarios. In each instance, at least two animals were involved in a house, farm or research setting. The contestants had to determine in which scenario the animal’s welfare and needs were best met. The students presented their arguments to a panel of judges. Team tallies were compiled from the individual scores.

First-year veterinary student Cohen said the contest gave her an opportunity to build on the knowledge she has gained from science classes and research experiences about the philosophy and ethics behind animal welfare. To prepare for the contest she conducted online research into laboratory-animal medicine and drew on her personal experiences in agriculture and shadowing veterinarians.

The annual contest is open to undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students.

 

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Last Update: February 24, 2012