2022 HSVMA Humane Achievement Awards
Dr. Gwendy Reyes-Illg and Dr. Jim Reynolds

HSVMA Board President Dr. Barry Kipperman presented  HSVMA Humane Achievement Awards to Dr. Gwendy Reyes-Illg and Dr. Jim Reynolds at the Animal Welfare Symposium at UC Davis on Saturday, October 22nd.

The HSVMA Humane Achievement Award recognizes veterinary professionals who have made an outstanding commitment to advancing animal health and welfare and to advocating for the humane treatment of animals. The two recipients were recognized for their strong commitment to promoting farm animal welfare with significant advancements made as a result of both of their efforts.

Dr. Gwendy Reyes-Illg:

Animal advocacy has long been Dr. Reyes-Illg’s passion. While attending the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Reyes-Illg campaigned successfully for a voter-initiated state ban on sow gestation crates and implemented an environmental enrichment program for pigs subjected to intensive confinement.  She also developed a Willed Body Program to provide ethically-sourced cadavers for equine anatomy courses and helped launch the Helping Alachua’s Animals Requiring Treatment and Surgery (HAARTS), a program that to date had helped save the lives of over 2,000 homeless pets while providing an alternative to terminal surgeries in the veterinary curriculum.  

More recently, Dr. Reyes-Illg has been at the forefront of efforts to defend Proposition 12, the landmark California ballot measure that required that farm animals raised and sold for food in the state have more humane living conditions. Dr. Reyes-Illg helped research and was one of the lead signatories on a veterinary amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in defense of Prop 12. Dr. Reyes-Ilg has also been active in advocating for the end to the use of ventilation shutdown and is currently working with HSVMA and other veterinary professionals to petition the AVMA to change their position condoning the practice in constrained circumstances. 

Dr. Jim Reynolds

Raised on a dairy farm, Dr. Reynold has devoted his professional veterinary career to improving the health and welfare of farm animals, particularly cattle. 

Dr. Reynolds has worked within the industry to advocate for welfare improvements for cattle, serving as a consultant on dairy management, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability in the US and other countries. He also has brought his welfare perspective to the academic setting, where he served as the Chief of Clinical Services for Production Medicine at UC Davis for 12 years and currently as professor of Large Animal Medicine/Welfare at Western University College of Veterinary Medicine, frequently lecturing on farm animal welfare topics. 

Within the professional arena, Dr. Reynolds has served as chair of both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Animal Welfare Committees, is currently a member of the California Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Committee and conducts animal welfare audits and courses on cattle welfare for various organizations. 

Finally, and probably most significantly, Dr. Reynolds has graciously volunteered his time and expertise for decades to help numerous animal welfare groups including HSVMA and the Humane Society of the United States on advocacy efforts related to farm animal welfare, such as efforts to ban tail docking of dairy cattle, improve treatment of downed cows, end inhumane rodeo events and require more humane housing for farmed animals. Dr. Reynolds was also one of the lead signatories on the amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in support of Prop 12.  

HSVMA is proud to recognize these two outstanding veterinary professionals for their commitment to promoting the welfare of animals. 

Read more about previous HSVMA Humane Achievement Award winners here