2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

New research chair in cattle research

By Alexander Kim, November 20 2014 —

Two Alberta ranchers donated $5 million to the University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine to support research in cattle welfare on Nov. 4.

Father and daughter J.C. Anderson and Wynne Chisholm own WA Ranches Ltd. and raise calves together. Their donation established the Anderson-Chisholm research chair in animal care and welfare.

U of C professor Ed Pajor is the first to hold the position. Pajor studies farm animal behaviour and welfare.

“My work is focused on bringing the animal’s perspective to the table,” he said.

Pajor has worked with cows, pigs, chickens and ducks. His recent study investigated the ideal temperature and humidity for transport of cattle in trailers.

“I like research that is a ‘win-win-win’ situation where we can improve the lives of animals, improve things for producers and improve things for consumers, in that they better understand how their food is being produced,” Pajor said.

Interest from the $5-million investment will support research done by the new chair. Pajor said he’s planning new studies that will be funded by the donation.

One study will focus on the best ways to care for newborn calves after difficult deliveries. Pajor said that calves that have stressful births are more prone to illness. Another study will investigate why mother cows sometimes reject their calves.

Animal welfare research is a young field of study. Not so long ago, Pajor said animal welfare researchers work was dismissed as “touchy-feely,” but according to Pajor, that is changing.

“Consumers are more concerned about where their food comes from. They’re asking how their food is being produced. The real concern there is about the welfare of the animals, about how these animals are being raised. So right now, animal welfare research is in a booming phase,” he said.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet