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Ethical Approaches to Avian Influenza & Health Risks in Animal Agriculture

May 2, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Avian influenza, or bird flu, has been receiving growing media attention due to continuing significant impacts on public health, economic stability, food security, animal welfare, and global health security. With the potential for highly pathogenic strains to cause severe illness and high mortality rates in birds and occasionally infect humans, the threat of a mutated virus capable of efficient human-to-human transmission raises the specter of a devastating pandemic. Outbreaks of avian influenza have already had substantial repercussions, including the large-scale culling of birds during outbreaks using controversial methods such as ventilation shutdown.

Join us for an afternoon workshop where we explore the ethical considerations surrounding avian influenza. This workshop is designed for professionals in the fields of public health, veterinary medicine, bioethics, and policy, as well as anyone interested in the intersection of animal health and ethics. It will feature presentations from experts in avian immunology, journalism, and ethics and a presentation on attitudes towards agricultural biotechnology.

The event will feature the following presentations:

  • Dr. Shayan Sharif, Dean of the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph
  • Marina Bolotnikova, Editor & Journalist for Vox
  • Dr. Bob Fischer, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Texas State University
  • Amalia Urloiu, UBC, and Barsha Shah, Augustana University: “Public Attitudes Towards the Use of Anti-Microbial Peptides”

A short intermission will include light refreshments prepared by Sage Catering (plant-based hors d’oeuvres and tea/coffee).

This event is hosted by the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics with support from the UBC Animal Welfare Program. Funding for the event was generously provided by a grant from Genome Canada.

To join us in-person, free tickets are available on our Eventbrite page. Ticket sales are limited to stay within venue capacity.

Our in-person event will be located in the Seminar Room at Sage Catering in the UBC Graduate School Building of the UBC Point Grey Campus (6331 Cresent Rd, Vancouver).

To join us online, please do not reserve the free ticket, and instead visit our Zoom Webinar registration page to register and receive a Zoom link for the event.