COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio State University animal sciences course has been recognized by the Humane Society of the United States for its focus on animal welfare issues.
"Social Issues Concerning the Use of Animals by Humans," taught in the Department of Animal Sciences on Ohio State's agricultural campus, was honored during an awards presentation on Nov. 4. Instructors of the course - Glen Schmidt, J. Fred Stephens, David Zartman and Stephen Boyles - received a certificate of excellence along with a $1,000 check. Lesley King, Director of Education and Animal Welfare of the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C., was on hand to present the award.
"The Humane Society Animals and Society project promotes both the proliferation and ethics of courses related to animal ethics, animal rights and animal welfare," said King, during the presentation. "It is the excellence of the Ohio State course in regards to this that we recognize today." The animal sciences course shares the spotlight with another college-level course in the "established course" category. The Humane Society also recognizes new college-level courses. This is the fourth year that the Humane Society has offered the awards.
"The recognition of the animal sciences course shows the breadth of the kinds of things we are doing in educating students from outside the college, as well as other departments within the college, about animal welfare issues in an unbiased manner," said James Kinder, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences.
Added Zartman, "We teach the students to examine all of the evidence, to examine both sides of the issue and through the education process, establish their own belief system." Danyelle Dauch, an animal sciences major and senior from Bellevue, Ohio, who is taking the course, said that the issues the course raises show the different perceptions people have concerning animal welfare.
"The one thing the course has taught me is how other people see me as a hog producer. They already have this public perception before they even get to know me," said Dauch, who was raised on a hog farm. "That's kind of an eye opener and it's a really good motivation for me to go out there and change that perception." Dauch plans to take her respect for animals and animal welfare responsibilities and apply them to an Extension education position upon graduation.
Also in attendance at the awards presentation were Bobby Moser, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Keith Smith, Director of Ohio State University Extension; and Steve Slack, Director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio.
"It's important for us and for society that we all work together to deal with animal welfare issues - to deal with animals in a proper manner and to do what's right," said Kinder. "Groups, like the Humane Society, that recognize courses that strive toward that goal give the courses greater credibility than would be the case otherwise." For more information on the Humane Society course awards, log on to http://www.hsus.org/ace/11318 or http://www.hsus.org/ace/11317.