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New Veterinary Medical Ethics Team

August 27, 2021

Dr. Bettina Bobsien, a well-known equine practitioner on Vancouver Island, will be the coordinator of the Veterinary Medical Ethics column, with Drs. Clare Palmer, Peter Sandøe, and Dan Weary sharing responsibilities for the commentary. Dr. Bobsien obtained her DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989 and later became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, specializing in equine practice. Dr. Bobsien is very generous with her time and expertise in providing leadership in animal welfare in Canada and we are delighted that she has agreed to work with practitioners, our team of ethicists, and our journal staff to bring you the Veterinary Medical Ethics column. She has actively promoted animal welfare as a contributor to the drafting of the Canadian Equine Code of Practice and the audit program for the Beef Code of Practice. She has served as a member of the Society of British Columbia Veterinarians Animal Welfare Committee, Chair of the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia’s Animal Welfare Committee, and is Chair of the CVMA Animal Welfare Committee, and Co-Chair of the Equestrian Canada Health and Welfare Committee.

Dr. Clare Palmer leads a team of 3 international experts who will provide the commentaries in response to ethical questions. Dr. Palmer is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A & M University. She holds a PhD from the University of Oxford and is the author or co-author of 4 books, including Animal Ethics in Context and Companion Animal Ethics. She has also published over 100 articles in a variety of journals including the Veterinary Record. She has a wealth of experience gained from academic appointments at universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. Dr. Palmer was President of the International Society for Environmental Ethics from 2007–2010. She has been successful in obtaining research support from the US National Science Foundation and she has served on a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee.

Dr. Peter Sandøe is Director of the Danish Centre for the Study of Companion Animal Welfare in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. This Centre is operated in collaboration with 2 other departments at the University of Copenhagen and a department at Aarhus University. Dr. Sandøe obtained his PhD at the University of Oxford in 1988 and subsequently became a faculty member at the University of Copenhagen. He has published 6 books and several hundred articles in academic journals. From 1992 to 2012 he served as Chair of the Danish Ethical Council for Animals, an advisory board set up by the Danish Minister of Justice. He was President of The European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics from 2000 to 2007, and Honorary Professor of Animal Ethics at the University of Nottingham from 2009 to 2015. In 2013 he was awarded the UFAW (Universities Federation for Animal Welfare) Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Welfare Science.

Dr. Dan Weary is Professor in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia (UBC). After completing BSc and MSc degrees from McGill University, Dr. Weary attended Oxford University, where he was awarded the DPhil degree. He worked for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for 5 years, then moved to UBC in 1997 to cofound the university’s Animal Welfare Program. He first held the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare at UBC in 1997, and he is currently in his 5th consecutive appointment to this position. In recognition of his research, he has received numerous awards, including: the 2013 Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians Metacam 20 Welfare Award for outstanding contributions to the field of cattle welfare; the 2014 Charles River Excellence in Refinement Award for excellence in research on the welfare of laboratory animals by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing; the 2016 Ruminant Well-being Award from the World Association for Buiatrics; and the 2020 UFAW Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Welfare Science.