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Farmers invited to Michigan animal mortality symposium
Michigan Correspondent

DEARBORN, Mich. — The fourth International Symposium on Managing Animal Mortality, Products, By-Products and Associated Health Risk is scheduled to take place May 21-24 at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in Dearborn.

The goal is to discuss new information on animal mortality and stimulate development of additional research, as well as to help develop new policies and educational programs. The conference will be a combination of presentations, tours, breakout sessions, poster presentations and an exhibitor showcase.

Dale Rozeboom, a professor and extension specialist at Michigan State University, has organized each symposium over the past seven years. He said after the symposium at the University of California-Davis, the focus became more international in scope.
“Seven countries worldwide will have speakers coming from government or universities that have been involved dealing with animal disease,” Rozeboom said.

To hear about how South Korea has been dealing with a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, show up that Wednesday; at 8:30 a.m. May 23, Dr. Heekwon Ahn of the Animal Environment Division, National Institute of Animal Science Rural Development Administration in the Republic of Korea, will discuss how the country responded to the 2010 outbreak.

He is considered to be a leading researcher evaluating the environmental impacts of emergency disposal techniques. He will discuss the lessons they have learned and how they might help other countries should they face a similar outbreak.
Rozeboom said the overall focus will be on research and policies to manage mortalities. “This means day-to-day on the farm,” he stated.

One example of a problem the symposium is meant to help farmers with is the death and burial of multiple animals on a farmstead. It will also cover something called the one-health concept. “It’s a concept that we are monitoring animal health and human health together,” Rozeboom said.

On May 24 there will be several demonstrations, including the construction of a carcass compost static pile, milk truck decontamination, carcass reduction through enviro processors and alkaline hydrolysis, farm animal euthanasia, biological decontamination and several others. There will also be more than a dozen poster presentations.

Although the symposium is targeted toward veterinarians, academics and government officials in animal industry departments, farmers are invited, too. “I’d like to have some farmers there,” Rozeboom said.

Event organizers announced early registration had been extended to May 4, but last week they said it had been extended again. It was not clear at press time what the deadline is for early registration. In any event, that fee is $300 and normal registration is $375.

Optional Monday tours are $30. Monday-only registration is $50 and one-day registration on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday is $150.

People who go on tours that involve crossing into Ontario, Canada, need a passport. There are also rules regarding contact with livestock. For more information visit products-symposium

Online registration is available at register.cfm and more information about the event and telephone registration are available at 517-353-3175.