The NSERC Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Dairy Cattle Welfare has been awarded to Professors Dan Weary, Marina von Keyserlingk and David Fraser.
The five year (2009 – 2013) research award, funded jointly by NSERC and partner organizations linked to dairy farming, will allow the Animal Welfare Program to continue and expand the research and training initiated under the NSERC-IRC in Animal Welfare held by the Program from 1997 to 2008.
Industrial Research Chairs are described by NSERC as “. . . prestigious appointments, intended to assist universities in building on existing strengths to achieve the critical mass required for a major research endeavour in science and engineering of interest to industry; and/or assist in the development of research efforts in fields that have not yet been developed in Canadian universities but for which there is an important industrial need.
“The focus of the planned research under the new NSERC-IRC in Dairy Cattle Welfare will be on two areas that are major animal welfare concerns and practical opportunities for the dairy industry: 1) dietary and management transitions, including weaning (milk to starter feed and starter feed to forage), onset of lactation and cessation of lactation, and 2) preventing illness through improvements in management and facility design. Much of the research, which builds on the Prgram’s existing expertise in animal welfare, will be conducted at UBC’s world-class Dairy Education and Research Centre in Agassiz, BC.
Partnering with NSERC in this award are: Dairy Farmers of Canada, Pfizer Animal Health, Westgen Endowment Fund, Beef Cattle Development Fund, BC Dairy Foundation, BC Dairy Education and Research Association, Alberta Milk and BC Milk Producers Association