The Raleigh News & Observer's restaurant critic Greg Cox came out with his annual recognition for local restaurants today. Topping the list as "Restaurant of the Year" is the new Bella Mia, the coal-fired pizzeria in Cary, NC. According to Cox, "Its blistery-crusted pies immediately raised the bar far above anything the area has ever seen." AWA is proud to announce that all of the beef used by Bella Mia is supplied by Rare Earth Farms of Zebulon, NC. Animal Welfare Approved farms also supplying Gold, Silver and "Best in Class" award winners include Border Springs Farm (lamb), Cane Creek Farm (pork), Captain John S. Pope Farm (lamb), Cohen Farm (eggs), Fowl Attitude Farm (eggs), and High Ground Farm (eggs).
Dr. Mohan Raj, a world-renowned expert in humane slaughter and farm animal welfare, has been tapped to lead Animal Welfare Approved (AWA)’s newly formed Scientific and Technical Advisory Board, AWA Program Director Andrew Gunther announced today.
Raj is currently the Reader in farm animal welfare at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. He is one of the foremost authorities in the field of humane stunning and slaughter and the developer of a novel and humane slaughter system for poultry and pigs using inert gases. Raj has published over 40 original scientific papers and authored chapters in textbooks and reference books.
The Animal Welfare Approved program has experienced tremendous growth over the past year, Gunther notes. The creation of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Board is the next step in aiding the program in retaining its reputation as being driven by practical science while still grounding the standards in the everyday reality of farm life. “Dr. Raj will be instrumental in ensuring AWA standards respect and reflect the needs of the animals and farmers while not compromising good care,” Gunther says. “We are honored and fortunate to have Dr. Raj at the helm of our new Board. His experience and knowledge is second to none in the field.”
Raj is a graduate of Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India, where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He completed his PhD at the Queen’s University of Belfast in Northern Ireland, UK. In 2008, Dr. Raj was awarded the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) / Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Award for Innovative Developments in Animal Welfare for his “contribution and commitment to farm animal welfare science, particularly in the area of stunning, slaughter and killing.” He is a member of the World Organization for Animal Health (known as the OIE based in Paris) and a member of the Federation of Veterinarians in Europe’s working group on stunning and slaughter of animals. Dr. Raj has co-authored numerous reports adopted by the European Commission and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and been invited to speak at international conferences concerning animal welfare, including in the US.