Nov. 7, 2022

Vet med prof wins prestigious cattle health award

Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein recognized for her pioneering research on bovine welfare
Two brown cows standing in a green field with a blue sky.
Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

A University of Calgary veterinary medicine researcher has been recognized by her peers for her tireless work in advancing knowledge in cattle health.

Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, PhD, an adjunct associate professor of production animal health at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM), won the 2022 Metacam 20 Bovine Welfare Award in October.

Schwartzkopf-Genswein is a senior research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan and UNESP University in Brazil. She is recognized as a pioneer in her field, with many of the methods currently used to assess bovine welfare stemming from her research.

Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein

Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein

Recent examples include her work on the impact of pain and stress mitigation during castration and on the welfare of farm animals during transportation by road. The latter research showed that factors like duration of rest stops, trailer motion, and whether cattle are conditioned or not affects overall welfare in cattle transported long distances.

Her work toward improving the welfare of beef cattle has instigated change across Canada, both within the cattle industry’s codes and practices and in shaping new government regulations.

Dr. Tim McAllister, PhD, a fellow researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and fellow UCVM adjunct professor, describes Schwartzkopf-Genswein as incredibly dedicated to her research and deserving of the award.

UCVM Dean Renate Weller also commends her great work: “At the University of Calgary, we are proud to be able to celebrate so many innovative academics like Dr. Schwartzkopf-Genswein, who are pushing the boundaries in and out of our community.  To Dr. Schwartzkopf-Genswein, I extended my warmest congratulations.”

Schwartzkopf-Genswein says she is honoured to have won and to have peers and stakeholders, alike, acknowledge the significance of her and her team’s work on cattle welfare.

The Metacam 20 Bovine Welfare Award is presented annually by the Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians (CABV), in association with the animal pharmaceutical branch of Boehringer Ingelheim, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Canada. CABV represents nearly 800 veterinarians from across Canada who have an interest in bovine health and production medicine, and serves as a liaison with other associations, academic institutions and the Government of Canada on issues related to cattle health.

For more information on the award, go to the 2022 Metacam 20 Bovine Welfare Award webpage, and to learn more about Schwartzkopf-Genswein's research, visit her Government of Canada science profiles page.