Animal Welfare Prize

The prize pays homage to parties who have successfully advanced animal welfare. 
It can be granted to one or several individuals or organs who work with animals. 

Candidates may be nominated by all members of the Finnish Veterinary Association. 
The next prize will be granted in 2018.

The Finnish Veterinary Association's 2015 Animal Welfare Prize has been awarded to the Onnentassu animal welfare centre in Riihimäki. Onnentassu won the award for maintaining efficiently organised, highly networked and systematically managed animal welfare and an animal shelter that feeds in revenue. The centre's operations are managed by an association called Eläinten auttajat ry, which was founded more than 20 years ago and has been located at the current Onnentassu premises since 2006. The goal of the association is to secure the welfare of pet animals.

The 2012 Animal Welfare Prize of the Finnish Veterinary Association was granted to agrologist Heikki Kemppi, who has been an important force in improving the welfare of Finnish calves for almost 20 years. His main emphasis has been calf nutrition and husbandry.

Heikki Kemppi has acquired experiences on domestic and foreign farms, surveyed farmers expertise, learned of them and distributed his extensive knowledge on functioning and non-functioning solutions to others. He has championed preventative disease management and emphasized the importance of appropriate bedding and warm environmental to calf husbandry. He has given over 500 presentations on calf husbandry and living conditions and authored scores of articles. 

Kemppi has adapted well to the changes in farming infrastructure and disease prevalence. He has worked in the forefront of developing feeding and growth methods suitable for different management systems. In addition, he has always cooperated constructively with the veterinary profession and farming advisors.
The Animal Welfare Prize was donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation.

The Animal Welfare Prize was granted for the first time at the Veterinary Annual Conference of 2009. The Association decided to honour the work of responsible pig producers. The Prize was given to Simo and Anne Takku, Punkalaidun, Finland, managers of a breeding piggery, for excellent attention to porcine welfare.

The Takku piggery houses about 80 sows. The managers have taken welfare into consideration already at the planning stage of building the piggery. With careful planning of structures and husbandry procedures, the sows and piglets have been ensured excellent conditions. For instance the sows are free to move about during gestation and farrowing. The farrowing pens are spacious and designed to stay clean and dry. Sows waiting to be bred have ample space. Bedding is used copiously. With practical solutions, the piglets are ensured a draft-free, dry and warm environment. The pigs enjoy good health. A minimum quantity of veterinary medicines is needed. In addition, the farm has effective protection against contamination and contagious diseases, exemplary for a breeding piggery.