NAWAC chairman awarded for contribution to animal welfare and ethics

17 May 2000

Professor David Mellor, the new chair of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) is to receive a prestigious New Zealand Science and Technology Silver Medal.

The New Zealand Science and Technology medals recognise and honour those who have made exceptional contributions to New Zealand society and culture through the broad fields of science and technology.

They were instituted by the Government and are administered by The Royal Society of New Zealand. No more than ten silver medals are awarded annually.

Professor Mellor will receive his medal at Government House in Wellington on Tuesday (May 23). He said he has yet to see the citation but believes the award honours his contributions to the areas of animal welfare, animal ethics and bioethics.

"If this is the case it is particularly gratifying that the assessors for the medal consider these areas to be of sufficient significance to science to recognise them," he said.

"For sometime now I have been encouraging scientists and students to integrate consideration of values, or ethics, into science as its legitimate third dimension - the first two being the acquisition of new knowledge and its application for human purposes." He went on to say that the medal would not have been possible without the support of mentors and friends, and the strong encouragement of other colleagues and peers.

Professor Mellor is the director of the newly created Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre at Massey University. He also holds the position of Distinguished Scientist in the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Massey.

Professor Mellor spent 10 years as Head of the Department of Physiology and Anatomy at Massey University's Faculty of Veterinary Science, and prior to that 18 years as head of the Department of Physiology and Leader of the Perinatal Studies Group at the Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1987 he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Moredun Foundation of Animal Health and Welfare (UK) for outstanding service towards improving the health and welfare of farm animals.

Professor Mellor was Vice Chairman of the New Zealand branch of the Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) and a member of New Zealand's National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) for six years from 1993.

Professor Mellor is in his first year as NAWAC chairman. NAWAC was established 11 years ago by the then Minister of Agriculture, to facilitate the development of animal welfare policy and practice in New Zealand and provide a balanced and independent national forum for discussion on animal welfare issues.

For further information contact:

Professor David Mellor, Chairman, NAWAC, Telephone: 06 350 4807 or
Gita Parsot, MAF Communications on 04 4989 806

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