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UC Davis Experts on Proposition 2

By Pat Bailey on October 22, 2008 in

The following list of UC Davis faculty members are available to comment on Proposition 2 on California's fall ballot.

Poultry welfare

Joy Mench, an animal science professor and director of the UC Davis Center for Animal Welfare, has found that conventional cage systems restrict hens' movement and natural behaviors, but that free-roaming chickens are more likely to fall victim to cannibalism, health problems associated with increased exposure to their manure, and broken bones. She suggests that so-called "furnished" cage systems, which provide areas for nesting, perching and dust-bathing, may be a humane and cost-effective solution. Contact: Joy Mench, Center for Animal Welfare, (530) 752-7125, jamench@ucdavis.edu.

Livestock welfare

Carolyn Stull, a UC Cooperative Extension animal welfare specialist in the School of Veterinary Medicine, specializes in the welfare of domestic large-animals. Her studies have focused on dairy-calf management practices and alternatives, identifying stress factors for growing hogs on commercial facilities, and the physiological responses of horses to long-distance transportation. In 2000, she assisted in developing a program to certify and label food products that meet animal-welfare standards, launched by the American Humane Association. Contact: Carolyn Stull, Veterinary Medicine Extension, (530) 752-0855, clstull@ucdavis.edu.

Dairy cow health and welfare

James Reynolds is chief of clinical services in dairy production medicine at the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, Calif. His research focuses on vaccine trials, calf nutrition, waste, milk pasteurization, transition cows, mastitis and therapeutic drug-use guidelines. He can speak to dairy cow welfare issues including tail docking, handling of downer cows and cow transport. In 2007, he received an Animal Welfare Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association. (He has taken a public position in opposition to Prop. 2.) Contact: James Reynolds, Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, (559) 688-1731 or jreynolds@vmtrc.ucdavis.edu.

Economic issues

Daniel Sumner, the Frank H. Buck Jr. Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics and director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, is an expert on California's $337 million egg industry. He is an author of a July report issued by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, "Economic Effects of Proposed Restrictions on Egg-laying Hen Housing in California," which concluded that Proposition 2 would have the effect of shifting most if not all egg production in California outside the state. The study did not address issues of animal welfare. Contact: Dan Sumner, Agricultural and Resource Economics, (530) 752-1668, dan@primal.ucdavis.edu.

Dairy cattle housing

Cassandra Tucker, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, studies animal welfare issues, with an emphasis on dairy cattle housing. She is particularly interested in how housing design and environmental conditions, such as heat stress, affect dairy cattle behavior and physiological function. She works with both adult dairy cows and dairy calves. Her current research examines how to cool cattle during summer and evaluates the comfort of alternatives to concrete flooring. Contact: Cassandra Tucker, Animal Science, (530) 754-5750, cbtucker@ucdavis.edu.

Health and welfare of large populations of animals

Kate Hurley is director of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program in the School of Veterinary Medicine. The program applies herd health principles in developing the best management practices for animal shelters, much as a rancher would use these principles for raising livestock. This approach emphasizes the impact that the group environment has on the health of individual animals. Hurley has a particular interest in population health, and infectious- and animal-disease epidemiology. In 2006, she was named Shelter Veterinarian of the Year by the American Humane Association. (She has taken a public position in favor of Prop. 2.) Contact: Kate Hurley, Koret Shelter Medicine Program, (530) 754 4967, kfhurley@ucdavis.edu.

Food-animal epidemiology

Tim Carpenter is a professor of veterinary epidemiology and co-director of the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance in the School of Veterinary Medicine. The center works to develop statistical models that can be used to guide public policy and livestock-management practices, with the goal of preventing, controlling or eradicating animal diseases and their associated adverse economic impacts. Carpenter can address food-animal housing systems as they relate to disease prevention. (He has taken a public position in opposition to Prop. 2.) Contact: Tim Carpenter, Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance, (530) 752-5467, tecarpenter@ucdavis.edu. (He will be away from campus Oct. 27-29.)

About UC Davis source lists

The UC Davis News Service routinely provides reporters with lists of campus experts who can provide information, insight and perspective for reporters' stories. Source lists are usually based on a common theme that may range from food safety to popular culture or earthquake science. The aim of providing these lists is to provide the media, and through them the public, with easier access to the wide range of knowledge and expertise on campus.

People included on these lists are usually UC Davis faculty but may include other researchers or those with specialized expertise, such as Cooperative Extension specialists.

The criteria for including someone on a list are: that, based on their academic work, they have expertise in the area in question that would be useful to a reporter; that they are available and willing to talk to reporters at the time the source list is issued; and that they are comfortable in talking to the media.

Any views and opinions expressed by campus experts in the course of media interviews are their own and do not reflect an official position of the university.

Reporters seeking additional suggestions or recommendations for experts should contact the UC Davis News Service for assistance at (530) 752-1930.

Media contact(s)

Pat Bailey, Research news (emphasis: agricultural and nutritional sciences, and veterinary medicine), 530-219-9640, pjbailey@ucdavis.edu

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