AVC student earns a first-place prize in AVMA Animal Welfare Assessment Contest

| Atlantic Veterinary College
Karen Yetman, AVC Class of 2023, with her dog
Karen Yetman, AVC Class of 2023, with her dog

Congratulations to Karen Yetman, AVC Class of 2023, who placed first in the veterinary division of the 20th annual American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Animal Welfare Assessment Contest, which took place virtually on November 20 and 21. 

Hosted by the AVMA and North Carolina State University, the contest involved 176 participants, representing 32 universities and seven countries, who completed online assessments of the welfare of animals in different settings. Yetman finished first out of 46 students who competed in the veterinary division.

Participants had to assess two different welfare scenarios, one comparing two turkey production facilities and the other, two facilities where cheetahs live in captivity. Using science-based methods and reasoning, they had to submit a decision on which facility for each species had superior welfare to a judging panel and then give a three-minute presentation about their evaluation.

“I am incredibly honored to have come first place in the veterinary division and will take forward my new welfare assessment skills in my future career, “she said. “I hope to become a food animal veterinarian and understand that production and welfare are inextricably linked. I want to be a leader of animal welfare advocacy who can work effectively with local producers to enhance the welfare of their animals. This experience has provided me with a logical method of approaching welfare assessment, enhanced my communication skills, and fostered a desire to continue further animal welfare education.”

Also participating in the contest were Nima Morady and Lindsey Bailey, two of Yetman’s classmates. The students were coached by Dr. Michael Cockram, Chair of Animal Welfare, and Dr. Katy Proudfoot, director, Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre (SJDAWC). 

Yetman thanked AVC, Drs. Cockram and Proudfoot, and her classmates for their support. “This has been an incredible experience that I won't soon forget! "

The students’ participation on the contest was funded by the SJDAWC with support from the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare and the AVMA. Click here to read the media release issued by the AVMA about the contest.

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Anna MacDonald
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