The University of Guelph’s ‘Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare’ was established in 1989 (the first of its kind in North America and second of its kind in the world), by a group of research biologists, veterinarians and philosophers concerned about the welfare problems of animals in agriculture and research laboratories. By funding research, hosting speakers and events, and creating awareness of animal welfare issues, they helped establish the study of animal welfare as an academic discipline.
Early members included Ian Duncan (our first Director), Denna Benn and Frank Hurnik – (all pictured in the slideshow below), along with philosopher Hugh Lehman; veterinary researchers David Porter and Andrew Luescher; and psychologist Hank Davis, who studied the human-animal bond and in 1993 set up the University of Guelph’s Research Animal Tribute (a memorial stone and annual event honouring these animals).
In 1996, the Centre was renamed after Colonel K. L. Campbell, after a generous bequest by his widow, Mrs. Mona Campbell. Passionate about animals, especially dogs and horses, her legacy still helps fund CCSAW today.
Mona Campbell loved animals. Her generous bequest, named in honour of her late husband, continues our work to this day. Colonel K. L. Campbell, who the centre was renamed after in 1996, is pictured here (right) celebrating the end of Korean War. Dr. Ian Duncan: a poultry expert, he was one of the first scientists to investigate welfare by assessing animals’ own preferences. Dr. Frank Hurnik was an animal science professor deeply concerned about farm animal well-being. Denna Benn, pictured here in the 1990s, directed the university’s Animal Care Services for many years, and is now Ontario’s Chief Veterinarian (Animals for Research Act). Anne Malleau, one of many influential CCSAW graduates, is shown here as a student in the 1990s (by a presentation on chicks’ preferences).
Under the directorship of Tina Widowski (2006-2020), CCSAW grew and flourished further, recruiting new welfare scientists as faculty, developing new undergraduate and graduate courses, hosting international conferences, training people who work with animals, and contributing to policy.
CCSAW has now trained many dozens of students who went on to make a real difference for animals. Above we picture just one: Anne Malleau, who helped establish the Global Animal Partnership (a food labelling scheme setting high, evidence-based welfare standards for Wholefoods and other retailers). Our Graduate Alumni page features more!