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On August 11, 2014

News from the JAM companion animal program

Industry-academic partnerships highlighted during presentations

At the recent Joint Annual Meeting of the American Society of Animal Science and American Dairy Science Association and Canadian Society of Animal Science there were 27 topical reviews and original research presentations focused specifically on companion animals out of the hundreds of abstracts in the program. The conference was held at the Kansas City Convention Center on July 20–24, 2014, and was well attended by an array of “pet-centric” students, faculty and industry researchers from around the globe. Two symposia pertaining to companion animals merit special note. The first was a  session focused specifically on sustainability and companion animals with a view toward today's impact on the future. Each of the presentations worked from a similar platform or definition of sustainability introduced by the first speaker, Dr. Becky Carter. To paraphrase, sustainability in the food system is “the ability to provide sufficient calories and essential nutrients for today's requirements without compromising the supply for future generations.” Carter and her co-authors from the Nutro Company and the University of Illinois equated sustainability in the petfood system with that of responsible pet ownership. They stated that “it requires a careful balance with consumer expectations.” From a raw material perspective, Dr. David Meeker with the Fats & Protein Research Foundation followed with an overview of how the rendering industry fits into this equation. He explained that it contributes to sustainability by capturing materials from the meat industry that would otherwise go to waste without their intervention. From this presentation emerged the question ...

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