The Animal Agriculture Alliance (Alliance) will host its eighth industry wide Stakeholders Summit May 12-13, 2009 at the Hotel Monaco in historic Alexandria, VA. One of the key topics at the day-and-a- half conference, themed “Politics, Activism and Religion: Influencing the Debate on Animal Welfare in America,” will be in-depth research on the animal rights movements’ penetration of religious organizations in order to use their sway with their congregations to advance animal rights causes.
Dr. Wes Jamison, associate professor of Communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University, is a nationally known expert on the animal rights movement, and will provide critical information on animal rights groups’ progress in subsuming religious organizations to advance their cause. This topic will be especially interesting when examined in comparison to animal rights groups’ failed attempts to use the nation’s largest environmental groups to advance their cause.
The summit will devote a great deal of time to the growing political attention to animal rights initiatives at the state, federal and international levels.
As importantly some state governments might be considering legislating animal welfare standards, New Jersey is the only state in the United States that has adopted animal welfare legislation to cover farm animals. Dr. Nancy Halpern, (left) director of the State of New Jersey’s Division of Animal Health, will give the summit audience the opportunity to compare the positive and negative aspects of regulating farm animal welfare as opposed to legislating it.
The Alliance has invited Dr. Bernard Vallat, director general of the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), to explain why OIE, an organization formed to combat the spread of animal diseases, is developing international animal welfare guidelines.
Further, Kay Johnson Smith, (right) executive vice president of the Alliance, will explain why the United States is involved in the development of OIE’s guidelines and detail the role of the Animal Agriculture Alliance and its members in the process.
The breakout sessions of this year’s summit will focus on the four areas, delivering positive messages to the public, using the Web for social networking, reaching an urban audience and reaching students. Other prominent speakers from across the food chain — including leading legislators, top regulators, international trade experts, anti-terrorism experts, and other top professionals in their fields — will relate important information on the critical issues affecting today’s food chain.
“Everyone involved in the food chain from agribusiness, their suppliers and their customers in the retail arena — in the United States and internationally — need to examine the solutions to critical issues that this conference addresses,” explains Johnson Smith. “Previous summits have shown the benefit of cross-industry communication. This breakout format helps further expand the cross-industry communication that has been a hallmark of this meeting.”
The summit is targeted at decisionmakers in management, production, policy and communication of companies and organizations involved in the food chain—including restaurants, grocery stores, farms, ranches, feedlots, processors of meat, milk and eggs and all others who are part of the global food chain. “Our goal is to provide attendees with the insight and information to successfully meet future challenges,” says Johnson Smith.
Complete Summit registration and hotel information are available on the Alliance website. Registration for the Summit can also be made securely via the Alliance website at www.animalagalliance.org, or the registration form can be faxed to (703) 524-1921.