The University of California has established the UC Animal Welfare Advisory Council to review issues of animal welfare related to animal agriculture, and to promote the development of recommendations based on sound science to improve the welfare of livestock and poultry.

The council, chaired by UC Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Daniel M. Dooley, is comprised of veterinarians, animal science professionals, and other experts from the UC system, the California State University system, Colorado State University and the private sector.

"The UC Animal Welfare Council brings together broad perspectives and specialized expertise to address the humane care and treatment of agricultural animals, while supporting the efforts of producers to provide safe and healthy food products for society," said Bennie Osburn, dean of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and vice chair of the council.

"The council will review current production practices, request information and white papers on issues of concern, identify gaps in the knowledge base, make recommendations for research projects and training programs to promote the adoption and implementation of best management practices by industry, and serve as a resource for policymakers, animal agriculture producers and other interested parties," Osburn said. "By working to ensure proper treatment of production animals, we hope to improve the safety of the food supply and, ultimately, strengthen consumer confidence in foods of animal origin."

"As animal agriculture is facing many challenges in California, it is appropriate that the University of California play a leadership role in reviewing animal production practices, including recommendations to our producers that will enhance animal welfare standards in our state," said Richard Breitmeyer, California's State Veterinarian and council member. "I would like to thank vice president Dooley and Dean Osburn for their leadership with this effort."

The first meeting of the UC Animal Welfare Advisory Council was held in Davis in early May. Members of the council are:

• Daniel M. Dooley (chair), UC Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Oakland

• Bennie Osburn (vice chair), Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis

• Alex Ardans, Professor Emeritus, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis

• Richard Breitmeyer, State Veterinarian, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento

• Dave Daley, Professor, College of Agriculture, California State University, Chico

• Ron Faoro, Veterinarian and Past President of the California Veterinary Medical Association, Sacramento

• Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

• Dave McCrystal, Veterinarian, Chair of Executive Board, American Veterinary Medical Association, Schaumburg, Ill.

• Joy Mench, Professor, Department of Animal Science, UC Davis

• Jim Reynolds, Veterinarian, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis, and Chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Committee

• Andrew Thulin, Head, Department of Animal Science, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

• Neal Van Alfen, Dean, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis

• Rick Standiford (ex-officio), Associate Vice President, UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Oakland

• Steve Nation (ex-officio), Executive Director, Governmental and External Relations, UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Oakland