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UFAW Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Welfare Science

2020 Award Winner

Professor Daniel Weary

Dan Weary is a Professor at The University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. He did his undergraduate degree in Biology at McGill University, and his doctorate in Zoology at Oxford University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Queen’s and Concordia Universities. Before joining UBC he worked as a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa. In 1997 Dan co-founded UBC’s Animal Welfare Program and co-directs this active group of visiting researchers, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers.

In his graduate and postdoctoral work Dan focused on acoustic communication and vocal behaviour in wild birds and mammals, and he continues to use behaviour to better understand how animals see the world, now with a special focus on animal well-being. His research focuses on developing behavioural measures for the assessment of animal welfare and developing practical methods of improving the welfare of animals. Dan’s work on cattle has helped lead to changes in feeding practices (including the adoption of higher milk rations for milk-fed calves), housing methods (including the adoption of pair and small group rearing for pre-weaned calves), pain control (including more effective ways of reducing the pain caused by common practices like disbudding and castration), and disease detection (with a special focus on cow lameness). Dan’s work on laboratory animals has focused on the development of more humane methods of euthanasia, and improvements in housing for mice and rats. In recent research Dan has also focused on attitudes of humans, including those responsible for animal care, to better understand barriers and opportunities to improve practices on farms and in the laboratory.

Dan is an enthusiastic teacher and mentor, working with students and colleagues in the Animal Welfare Program and around the world to find ways of the lives of animals and those who care for them. He is also a frequent speaker on animal welfare to audiences around the world.

He has published hundreds of articles and is one of the most highly cited authors in animal welfare science. A full list of his publications can be found at: See Google Scholar for a complete list of publications.

In addition to the UFAW Medal, Dan has won a number of accolades and awards, including:

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Welfare, 1997-2024
Zinpro Award for Excellence in Dairy Science, 2020
World Association for Buiatrics’ Ruminant Well-being Award, 2016
UBC Killam Research Prize, 2015
Charles River Laboratories’ Excellence in Refinement Award, 2014
Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians’ Welfare Award, 2013
UBC Killam Teaching Prize, 2013