Burnbrae Farms, Canada’s largest egg producer, has donated $500,000 to the University of Guelph to create a poultry welfare professorship in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science. The professorship aims to support Canada’s egg farmers and examine laying hen behavior and housing production systems.

Dr. Alexandra Harlander will assume the Burnbrae Farms Professorship position.

Much of the research conducted by Harlander will focus on solving problems related to non-cage systems and to better understand the behavior 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,” said Margaret Hudson, president of Burnbrae Farms.

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The Poultry Industry Council and the Canadian Poultry Council also provided financial backing to make the professorship possible.

Dr. Harlander told Farms.com 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.

Burnbrae Farms is a family owned and operated company that has been producing eggs for more than 70 years. It has processing facilities in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.