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CVMA Welcomes Three New Members to Animal Welfare Committee

January 28, 2019

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is delighted to welcome three new members to its Animal Welfare Committee (AWC). Dr. Karen Allen, Dr. Mike Petrik, and Ms. Kate Cooper, RVT, will join the AWC until their terms are complete at the end of 2024.

Dr. Karen Allen graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995 after completing a Zoology degree at the University of Alberta and Bamfield Marine Station. She has been working in the veterinary industry in Canada for over 25 years in private practice as the National Medical Director for VetStrategy, and most recently consulting for Mosaic Veterinary Partners as their Companion Animal Medical Director. Dr. Allen's goal is to enrich the lives of both the animals and the people in her community through her work. She has been volunteering with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association since 1999, most recently finishing her term on Council where every meeting included discussions on animal welfare issues. She is looking forward to continuing her volunteer work with the CVMA to promote animal welfare across Canada.

Dr. Mike PetrikDr. Mike Petrik grew up on a farm in Ontario. At various times his family had a 100 sow farrow-to-finish swine operation, a standardbred breeding and racing stable, a purebred Hereford farm and a large poultry operation, raising broilers, turkeys, laying hens and layer pullets. Dr. Petrik graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1998, taking a job as a large animal veterinarian in southern Ontario. In 2000, he switched to a full-time laying hen veterinary position with McKinley Hatchery, where he continues to work. Dr. Petrik received a Master of Science degree in Animal Welfare in 2014 from the University of Guelph, studying keel bone fractures in laying hens. He has led multi-species welfare education projects, contributed to the meat bird and laying hen codes of practice with the National Farm Animal Care Council, and consulted with industry and government groups at provincial and national levels. Dr. Petrik has been instrumental in developing euthanasia and hatchery welfare programs that are in use across Canada.  

Ms. Kate Cooper has worked as a Registered Veterinary Technologist (RVT) for almost 10 years as a member of the Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada (RVTTC) and the British Kate Cooper, RVTColumbia Veterinary Technologists Association. Ms. Cooper has worked with a variety of species in a variety of roles, including small animal practice, exotics, wildlife, pathology, and research. She has spent significant time volunteering as an RVT: working to rehabilitate sea turtles and dolphins in Louisiana during the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill, nursing malnourished seal lions in California during the Sea Lion Starvation Event of 2014, raising orphaned seal pups in the Netherlands, and fostering numerous litters of kittens as a foster parent for a local shelter. Through these experiences she was exposed to a broad range of welfare issues such as the impacts of captivity on natural behaviours, conflict between humans and wildlife in urban settings, and ethical dilemmas faced by veterinarians working in practice. Ms. Cooper currently works at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as both an RVT and a Certified Project Manager. She is also responsible for writing Animal Care and Use Protocols for submission to the UBC Animal Care Committee, which serve to safeguard the welfare of animals used in research. Ms. Cooper is also a founding member of a new Animal Care Services Animal Welfare Committee at UBC whose goal is to engage the animal care community to create solutions for improving the lives of research animals at the University. 

The CVMA would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Michelle Lem, Dr. Trevor Lawson, and Ms. Christine Archer, RVT, for the time and dedication they spent serving the AWC.