University of Minnesota takes first overall at Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest

January 01, 2023

The University of Minnesota’s first ever graduate team was the top placing team in the live assessment portion of the competition focused on Dogs and Cats in an Animal Shelter. In addition, the team placed 1st overall in the international collegiate Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest hosted November 18 – 20 by North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. The AWJAC competition aims to teach students to assess the welfare of animals in multiple settings by using science-based methods and reasoning. Species covered in the 2022 contest included: Fancy Layer Show Chickens, Full-Fed Dairy Beef, and Octopuses in Aquariums. Throughout the semester, the team prepared to assess the welfare of all aspects of each species' life, including but not limited to transport, housing, health, training, retirement, production, and slaughter/euthanasia. The AWJAC competition is open to veterinary, undergraduate, and graduate students. 

The University of Minnesota Animal Welfare Judging Team is coached by Dr. Rielle Swanson. This is Dr. Swanson’s first semester coaching the team. Congratulations to this team on a successful contest this fall! 

First-place graduate team from the University of Minnesota in the Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment contest, Raleigh, NC (from left to right): coach Dr. Rielle Swanson, Madi Bacon, Bianca Goncalves Da Costa and Courtney Archer.