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4th FSVO/UFAW Symposium – Humanely Ending the Life of Animals

Bern, Switzerland, 6-7 March 2024 

Invited Speakers

Dr Petra Seebeck
(University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Petra Seebeck studied Veterinary Medicine at the FU Berlin and holds a specialist degree in laboratory animal science (Berlin, Germany). She is a Diplomate of the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ECLAM) and ECLAM’s upcoming president 2024–2025.

Her post-doctoral research at the Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité, University Medicine Berlin, focused on bone, cartilage and fracture healing with a special interest in using non‐invasive techniques like gait analysis and serum markers to predict the course of fracture healing.

Since 2010, she has headed a rodent core facility at the University of Zurich offering infrastructure and services for experimental research including preclinical imaging, radiotelemetry and surgical services. Additionally, she offers expert advice as well as teaching and training for researchers working with laboratory rodents. Her current research activities focus on refining experimental procedures in rodents.

Dr Antonio Velarde

(Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology (IRTA), Spain)

Dr Antonio Velarde holds a Veterinarian Sciences degree, PhD in Animal Production, and master’s in Science and Welfare of Laboratory Animals. He is a European Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law by the European College of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Medicine.

Currently, he is head of the Animal Welfare Program at IRTA (Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology-Spain) and member of the Animal Health and Animal Welfare Panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). He is deputy coordinator of the European Reference Centre for the Welfare of Poultry and other small farm animals.

He is also an independent expert of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare, and president of the WOAH ad hoc group in charge of the revision of Chapter 7.5. - Slaughter of animals and Chapter 7.6. - Killing of animals for disease control purposes.

Current research topics include animal welfare on farm, transport and slaughter, risk assessment on animal welfare and validation and development of animal-based measures.  He has published more than 200 peer review papers in international journals and co-edited three books: ‘On farm monitoring of pig welfare’ (Wageningen Academic Publishers), ‘Animal welfare at slaughter’ (5m Publishing. Sheffield, UK) and ‘Bienestar Animal. Una vision global en Iberoamerica’ (Elsevier).

Professor Ngaio Beausoleil

(Massey University, New Zealand)

Ngaio is Professor of Animal Welfare Science and Co-Director of the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, NZ. She has been active in research, teaching and scholarship in relevant areas of animal physiology, behaviour and welfare science for 20 years. Her research employs behavioural and physiological methods to investigate various aspects of animal welfare in both domestic and wild animal species. A key strength is her systematic, science-based approach to evaluating animal welfare impacts and she has been closely involved in the evolution of the Five Domains Model for more than a decade. Ngaio provides scientific support, advice and research to governments, various animal industries and veterinary professional bodies in New Zealand and around the world. She is Chair of the New Zealand Veterinary Journal editorial board, an independent scientific expert on the Wellington Zoo Animal Welfare Committee and the Australia New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) and Massey liaison to the UK Universities Federation for Animal Welfare.

Dr Hans van de Vis  

(Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Netherlands) 

Hans van de Vis has been a scientist at WUR for more than 25 years. Since 2016, he has worked at Wageningen Livestock Research. Hans is involved in research on stunning, transport, husbandry conditions and the welfare of caught fish.  

It was Hans’ belief that aquatic animals must have feelings just as terrestrial animals that drove him to pursue research in this area. Whilst research has shown that fish are sentient and cognition is present, Hans believes that the findings of such studies alone do not lead to impact. He believes it is essential to look at societal developments, support, and if possible, valorisation. For example, the Dutch Beter Level label shows that consumers are willing to pay for products from livestock farms with improved animal welfare.  

Since 2023, Hans has been involved in organising the first conference of the Catch Welfare Platform (20-22 November 2023 in Bergen, Norway). The platform will be a global industry-science driven network that aims to improve sustainability and profitability in wild-capture fisheries. The Catch Welfare concept focuses on pragmatic solutions to reduce individual stress levels in the catch. This includes unwanted and released animals, and those to be slaughtered onboard. Incentivizing fishers, such as through valorisation of seafood products adhering to good catch welfare standards, is envisaged as a key outcome.  

Dr Patricia V Turner

(Charles River Laboratories and University of Guelph, Canada) 

Patricia Turner is a laboratory animal veterinarian and pathologist who works as Corporate Vice-President, Global Animal Welfare for Charles River Laboratories. In this role, she is responsible for assessing welfare risks and developing global animal welfare policy and related training.

Patricia is also a University Professor Emerita at the University of Guelph, where she worked previously as a professor and program leader of laboratory animal science in the Department of Pathobiology. Her research group explores refinement of animal pain detection and mitigation and euthanasia practices, refinement of research animal behavior management programs, as well as impediments to human behaviour change to enhance research animal care.

Patricia is currently ACLAM Vice-President, Immediate Past-President of the World Veterinary Association, and an author and editor of many academic publications on animal welfare and ethics, laboratory animal science, and small mammal pathology.