Ed Pajor is a Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Production Animal Health. Dr. Pajor provides scientific expertise to numerous organizations including the McDonald’s Animal Welfare Panel. Dr. Pajor completed his B.Sc. degree in biology from the University of Waterloo and received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in biology from McGill University, specializing in animal behaviour.
Animal welfare issues have increased in public importance significantly over the past few years. For some, this comes as a surprise for others it is simply a continuation of a developing social ethic (Rollin, 2004). The increased importance of animal welfare, especially in agriculture, has occurred for a number of reasons including a decrease in knowledge of where food comes from and how it is produced, different conceptions of what matters in terms of animal welfare, increased consolidation and a move to a pull economy from a push economy and the development of animal welfare standards and on farm/plant assessments.
Agricultural mythologies and public expectations
The acceptance of how animals are treated in agricultural is reflected by two major components which make up an agricultural mythology, diligent animal care and reverence for the family farm (Fraser, 2008). This mythology creates certain expectations regarding animal care, expectations that may not reflect the realities of animal production.