09 February 2017

WELFARE - David Suzuki to Headline Canadian Animal Welfare Conference

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) is celebrating its 60th anniversary as part of its National Animal Welfare Conference April 8th through 11th.

Dr. David Suzuki will be the special guest and keynote speaker at the Anniversary Awards Gala portion of the event on the Sunday.

Suzuki, a scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster, has been the host of CBC’s The Nature of Things since 1979 and has won dozens of academic and broadcasting awards.

The foundation he created focuses on five major environmental issues: climate change, health, oceans, wildlife and habitat, and freshwater.

An outspoken advocate for the environment, Suzuki has faced some controversy over the past few years.

Detractors criticize his wealthy lifestyle - pointing out he lives in a Vancouver home valued at $8 million and neglecting to add the house was purchased in 1975 for $145,000.

According to a Macleans article, Suzuki believes the muck-throwing is part of a wider trend where experts are now being painted as adversaries. “Scientists are being portrayed by much of the power structure in politics and business as having a vested interest - that they’re just out to get more grant money by exaggerating the threats.”

For most, however, he remains a knowledgeable, strong voice on environmental issues and CFHS social media is abuzz with anticipation for his keynote presentation.

The CFHS Awards Gala includes music, a three-course meal, and presentation of the Leadership and Innovation in Animal Welfare Awards, including Suzuki, who will be accepting a lifetime achievement award from CFHS for his decades of committed work for animals and the environment.

Suzuki’s keynote presentation will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

Individuals who purchase tickets to the National Animal Welfare Conference automatically receive tickets to the gala, but tickets to the gala alone are also available.

Employees and volunteers from humane societies, SPCAs, animal rescue, advocacy groups, animal control, conservation, academic institutions and the government attend the conference each year.

Topics at this year’s event include:
  • Putting humans at the centre of animal welfare program design
  • What if we are not sheltering animals anymore?
  • Modern farming
  • The illegal pet trade in Canada and beyond
  • Developing and maintaining successful stakeholder relationships
  • The BS of BSL
  • A multidisciplinary approach to investigating animal crimes
  • Fort McMurray Fires: Learning from Canada's Largest Animal Disaster Response

The conference is followed by a training day where attendees can choose from three different training tracks: Sheltering for Change, Shelter Medicine, or Leadership and Management.

Registration for training day is separate from the conference.

Early bird pricing ends February 28, 2017 - registration and more information is available on the CFHS website.

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