From Farm Animal Science to Policy to Practice: How Do We Move Forward as a Movement?


Amy Morris MPP, Manager, Public Policy and Outreach, British Columbia (BC SPCA)


This session will take participants through old issues and troubling trends in the connections between science, public policies and enforcement strategies in agriculture and farm animal welfare. Identified issues include: science funding, lack of enforcement, limited communication methods, the impact of employment policies and wages, product differentiation and conflicts between social movements competing for resources.

Funding for science often comes from a specific industry researching a specific problem. Having science driven by industry can be meaningful, but it can also limit big picture thinking in animal welfare research. Who are the players involved and what can be done differently to see better outcomes for animals?

Government legislation is often written with the ideal enforcement scenario in mind, but enforcement is rarely tied to the legislation itself, resulting in low enforcement and low compliance. What can be changed to address enforcement issues?

Communication includes industry mail-outs, local newspapers, and government updates, with in person sessions that have low attendance. Farmers have little time available. How can this communication gap be addressed?

Participants will work in groups to discuss these issues and trends and identify working solutions.


  1. Learn about the most prevalent systemic issues around Canadian animal farming.
  2. An appreciation for the nuances of developing policy.
  3. An understanding of how to create a pathway forward to address farm animal welfare issues.


Amy Morris is the Manager of Public Policy and Outreach at the BC SPCA and a graduate of the Master of Public Policy program at Simon Fraser University. She is passionate about the cycle that turns welfare science into practice, improving the lives of animals of all species. She has worked on farms with cattle, goats, sheep and chickens, volunteered to rehabilitate hoarder and puppy mill pets, and now spends her free time testing the intelligence of her collie mix, Clover.