Burnbrae Farms gifts $500,000 to U of Guelph to establish a professorship in poultry welfare

Aug 20, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

Canada’s largest egg producer, Burnbrae Farms, has gifted $500,000 to the University of Guelph to establish a professorship in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science.

Dr. Alexandra Harlander will assume the Burnbrae Farms Professorship position. The professorship aims to support the country’s egg farmers and examine laying hen behaviour and housing production systems. Much of the research will focus on solving problems related to non-cage systems and to better understand the behaviour and biology of the laying hen.

“The University of Guelph has played a significant role in the support of animal welfare and behavior, and the research they conduct is unmatched. This professorship will help increase its capacity and will be unique in its outreach efforts to farmers, the general public and retailers,” Margaret Hudson, President of Burnbrae Farms said in a release.

Dr. Harlander says that the professorship is timely, especially with the pressing demands from the public and food industry professionals alike, adding that research needs to take place in order to establish new standards based on science. Interestingly, Canadians consume on average 204 eggs per person a year. Dr. Harlander explains that the majority of eggs are produced in modern production systems.

The professorship position was made possible thanks to the financial backing of Burnbrae Farms, the Poultry Industry Council and the Canadian Poultry Council. Burnbrae Farms is a family owned and operated company that has been producing eggs for more than 70 years. The company says that it continues to improve its housing systems based on new research and findings.