Animals touch our daily lives from the food we eat, the products we consume, and the health care advances we enjoy to the companionship, entertainment, and services they provide. The health and well being of these animals is at the heart of veterinary medicine.
The effective integration of veterinary medicine, animal science, ethics, and public policy will help dictate how successfully the diverse needs of humans and various animals—wildlife as well as domesticated animals—are met on a local and global scale.
Current animal welfare concerns include the effect of global urbanization; the treatment of animals in food production; the pet over population crisis and the burden it places on overcrowded shelters; biomedical research involving animal models; and the rescue and care of animals in emergencies and disasters.
At the center of many of these concerns is the growing human-animal bond, a connection further evidenced in the heartfelt response people have had to the trials of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, the plight of Hurricane Katrina animals, and to incidents of animal fighting and abuse.
The College is a community dedicated to animal health and well being and the Animal Welfare, Ethics and Public Policy (AWEPP) Program exists as one formal example of the CVM commitment to being stewards of animal welfare.
The multidisciplinary AWEPP Program brings together the interdependent disciplines of shelter medicine, community practice, veterinary behavior, and animal welfare. Through professional education, public service, research, and public policy development AWEPP seeks to explore and address issues including pet abandonment; animal abuse and fighting; companion animal loss and grief; and the link between animal health and human well being