About the Center for Animals and Public Policy

The Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) was founded in 1983 at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. The Center’s mission is to conduct and encourage scholarly evaluation and understanding of the complex societal issues and public policy dimensions of the changing role and impact of animals in society. Work conducted by the Center is based on the tenets that animal well-being matters, that animal and human well-being are linked, and that both are enhanced through improved understanding of human-animal relationships.

The Center offers the Masters of Science in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program and is also home to the Ethics and Values curriculum within the DVM program. Over the life of the Center faculty members have engaged in scholarly activities including symposia, conferences, seminar series, continuing education, and publications covering topics ranging from the welfare of elephants in captivity to controversies over animal research, feral cat management and the humane treatment of farm animals. The Center also serves as a focus for community service activities on the Cummings School campus, and offers a venue for balanced, informed and respectful discussion of the difficult issues in animal ethics, policy and practice that face the veterinary profession and society.

Recently, the work of the Center has been refocused on three areas of focus: Animals in the Community, Animals in Research, and Animals in the Environment. Consideration of ethics, values and policy at these interfaces are prominent, cross-cutting themes. The ability of the Center to reach out across the Cummings campus and beyond has been enhanced by the establishment of a CAPP Advisory Board—made up of Cummings faculty and MAPP program alumni—and by the naming of a distinguished group of CAPP Fellows from Cummings and other institutions and organizations.