Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein – livestock behaviour, health and welfare
This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.
Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein is known for her foundational research on assessing welfare in beef cattle. She has assessed the impacts of long distance transportation, developed producer-friendly pain mitigation strategies for castration and other painful procedures and assessed and mitigated lameness in feedlot cattle. Her research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has informed regulations and guidelines for the commercial beef cattle industry in North America.
Dr. Schwartzkopf-Genswein grew up on a farm in southern Alberta that has been active in the beef cattle feedlot business for over 40 years. Her life on the family farm and early exposure to livestock contributed to her interest in understanding cattle behaviour and their care.
Today she is recognized in Canada as an expert technical advisor on issues related to beef cattle behaviour and welfare. She provides training and consultative services to cattle industry stakeholders, including agribusiness, government, and the pharmaceutical industry and is called upon to speak at scientific and industry conferences in North America and around the world.