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KFC Funds Poultry Assistantship at MSU

by 5m Editor
20 March 2009, at 8:19am

US - A newly established poultry assistantship will help Mississippi State University expand its research of animal welfare issues.

KFC and the Yum! Brands Foundation are funding the assistantship at MSU’s Poultry Science Department in memory of J. Paul Thaxton, a former professor of poultry science at MSU and member of KFC’s Animal Welfare Advisory Council. Thaxton passed away in October 2007.

Michael Kidd, poultry science department head, said Thaxton’s international reputation in the field of animal welfare research prompted the gift from KFC and the Yum! Brands Foundation.

Mr Kidd said the research examines the animal health conditions as well as the economics related to animal industries.

“By funding this assistantship, KFC and the Yum! Brands Foundation is showing that they want Dr. Thaxton’s research continued,” he said.

Nick Sallas of Columbiana, Alabama, is the first recipient of the J. Paul Thaxton Graduate Assistantship for the Study of Animal Welfare.

“It’s a privilege for us to support Nick’s work and at the same time honor the memory of Dr. Thaxton,” said Mike Morris, KFC’s animal welfare manager. “We are delighted to continue our association with Mississippi State University, and we know that Nick will continue Dr. Thaxton’s important work in advancing poultry welfare.”

Mr Sallas received his undergraduate degree in poultry science from MSU and is working on a master of science degree with emphasis in animal welfare. He credits a 2006 seminar presented by Thaxton with introducing him to the idea of animal welfare as a graduate research area.