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Temple Grandin heads speaker list for upcoming animal welfare meeting at Tech

Temple Grandin heads speaker list for upcoming animal welfare meeting at Tech

Texas Tech’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences will host a mini-symposium featuring presentations on beta agonists and animal welfare on Tuesday (Feb. 18) from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Texas Tech Club. Beta agonists are feed additives used to increase cattle and pig growth, improve efficiency and lower the livestock carbon footprint.

On the list of speakers is humane-handling specialist Temple Grandin. Over the years Grandin has done extensive work on the design of handling facilities. Indeed, half the cattle in the United States and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants. Other professional activities include developing animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consulting with McDonalds, Wendy’s International, Burger King, and other companies on animal welfare.

“We wanted her to be able to interact with faculty and students in the area of farm-animal welfare,” said John McGlone, professor and institutional official within the Laboratory of Animal Behavior, Physiology, and Welfare at Tech. “She and I previously discussed hot topics in farm-animal welfare, and this rose to the top.”

Beta agonists are similar in structure and physiological effect as some asthma medications, McGlone said. They have stirred some animal welfare concerns, and the purpose of the symposium is to address the topic more fully, he said.

“We intend to have a science-based look at real animal welfare issues in animal agriculture,” McGlone said. “We want to add professional judgment to the science so we can understand the state of animal welfare in commercial cattle and pig production.”

Other speakers on tap are:

  • Dave Anderson, an affiliate faculty member at Colorado State University, Beta agonist use in commercial pork production.
  • Guy Loneragan, a professor of animal and food science at Tech, Available evidence of beta agonists as an animal welfare concern.
  • Ty Lawrence, a professor at West Texas A&M University, Beta agonists impact animal well-being.

The event is sponsored in part by Elanco Animal Health, Merck Animal Health and Texas Tech’s Laboratory of Animal Behavior, Physiology and Welfare.

Written by Faith Jurek

CONTACT: John McGlone, professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-8275 or


Editor’s Note: Registration is free, but all attendees are required to RSVP prior to the event with For more information about the event, go to and


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