Best animal welfare academic

Professor David Mellor, named the Global Health and Pharma Magazine Best Animal Welfare Academic - New Zealand.

One of the world’s leading experts in animal welfare, Massey University’s Professor David Mellor, has been honoured for his work and leadership in animal welfare.

Global Health and Pharma Magazine named Professor Mellor, the Best Animal Welfare Academic - New Zealand. The awards recognise companies associated with the health and welfare of animals in addition to veterinary medicine across the globe.

Professor Mellor has worked at Massey for 29 years and in that time has contributed significantly to his field and to those under his leadership, earning him a New Zealand Order of Merit. He has more than 500 publications, including five books, in fetal and neonatal physiology, stress physiology, pain assessment and management, humane livestock slaughter, conceptual frameworks in animal welfare science, and bioethics as it applies to animal welfare.

While his career has been long, he asserts the work is far from over. “New Zealand is considered one of the leading countries in the world in terms of animal welfare standards and management,” he says. “But that doesn’t mean we don’t still have problems that we continue to work at.”

In 1998 he established the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre within Massey, where he actively continues his work to this day as foundation director in partnership with co-directors Professors Kevin Stafford and Craig Johnson, deputy director Dr Ngaio Beausoleil and technical director Neil Ward.

The centre’s mission is to provide practical, science-based and ethical advice, education and solutions to animal welfare problems and bioethical analysis and education. It has received 48 honours and awards, has produced at least 330 major publications and more than 500 abstracts and popular articles. Its members have also made more than 625 presentations in countries around the globe and attracted more than $7 million in grants.

Professor Mellor describes the centre’s distinctiveness in terms of, “the balance of expertise, the creative synergy this confers, as well as the originality and wide scope of our contributions.

“A major feature of our work is to give scientific foundation for animal welfare codes and regulations to ensure they have a solid backing and foundation. Not just in New Zealand, but in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and countries across the world. 

“The future of the centre is bright and I’m proud to say there is a great bunch of people tasked with taking it forward. Initiatives I undertook with other directors have secured the centre’s future. The past focus of meeting the survival needs of animals will continue, but added to that will be the provision of opportunities for animals to engage in rewarding activities, in other words, not just surviving, but thriving,” Professor Mellor says.

Awards co-ordinator Emma Keen, commented “Ultimately, this award programme acknowledges and rewards those who have gone beyond their duty of care to improve the welfare, care and health of animals. Professor David J Mellor is a prime example of a man who has dedicated his life to the welfare of animals, and the significant improvements he has helped to implement, particularly in recent years, are something that I am honoured to be able to recognise.”

Global Health and Pharma magazine is a global information sharing platform established to enhance communication networks and collaboration across all themes and disciplines within three main categories; Human, Animal and Environmental Health.

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