Calgary Stampede receives Animal Care Award

The efforts behind the Calgary Stampede's animal care policies were recognized at a recent livestock care conference, hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC). The Stampede received the 2012 AFAC Award of Distinction for Innovation. The award, usually reserved for individuals, is presented to nominees "who have developed a new process, product or source of knowledge that has made a significant impact on improving the welfare of livestock care and the industry."

Paul Rosenberg, vice-president, Programming, at the Calgary Stampede was on hand to accept the recognition from the AFAC. "With 7,500 animals on Stampede Park every year in exhibition, education and competition events, we must take the care of these animals very seriously," says Rosenberg. "It's the concern for the well-being of the animals that drove us to establish an independent Animal Care Advisory Panel in 2010. We believed then and continue to believe that the independent panel will help guide us most effectively to enhance our animal care practices."

Other initiatives undertaken by the Calgary Stampede include developing codes of practice and carrying out both internal and third party assessments on animals in transportation, agricultural exhibits and in the rodeo and chuckwagon events.

"This recognition is well deserved," says Dr. Ed Pajor, Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. As a member of the Animal Care Advisory Panel, Dr. Pajor has witnessed many of the changes first hand. "The effort by the Stampede has been a very thorough, principled, transparent process to show how they are looking after the animals in their care."

The Stampede has also introduced a framework that provides a sound foundation for ongoing assessments, benchmarking and the ability to adapt to the changing environment around animal care. More information about the Stampede's animal care efforts can be found at http://corporate.calgarystampede.com/animal-care/.

More information about AFAC can be found at www.afac.ab.ca.