Thursday, 23 March 2017
The University of Edinburgh has launched a new Massive Open-access Online Course: The Truth about Cats and Dogs.
In this course we provide 'an insight into cat and dog behaviour - through their eyes'. The course is divided into five topics: the appliance of science; behaviour and body language; senses and perception; challenges for the human-animal relationship, including pet problem behaviour; and how to improve the quality of life for cats and dogs in our care. By exploring how our pet cats and dogs perceive the world, we can gain a greater insight into their unique needs, and understand how to better provide for these needs, thus enhancing the important relationships that we have with our pet dogs and cats.
Sign-up now for the free online course (pay £39 ONLY if you want the certificate). Course starts 17 April. Register now https://goo.gl/RJlYgF
We look forward to you joining the course!
Monday, 20 March 2017
JMICAWE's veterinary nurse Hayley Walters has just returned from a very successful meeting with leading faculty members from the Kerala Veterinary Animal Science University (KVASU).
Hayley and JMICAWE's vet Heather Bacon had previously been in Sri Lanka delivering CPD in inhalational anaesthesia to Charity partner Dogstar; and meeting with the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, Sri Lanka’s only vet school, to further enhance veterinary education in partnership with The University of Edinburgh. Hayley then took the opportunity to meet with KVASU in India on her way home.
The aim of the meeting was to further discuss the introduction of a 12-month veterinary nursing programme at KVASU. Well-trained veterinary nurses provide the vital care a patient needs when it is sick and fearful in the clinic and can dramatically improve a patient’s welfare whilst reducing the workload of the veterinary surgeon, freeing him or her up to concentrate on more complex aspects of veterinary medicine.
KVASU currently has a 6-month programme that is practically taught and includes both large and small animal teaching with a focus on pharmacy, laboratory and reproduction.
A more small animal based programme, that included classroom teaching 2 hours a day as well as practical, on-the-job training, was agreed to be needed to help with vets treating India’s booming pet population.
A 12-stage plan is in place and on schedule with the next step being to identify what Indian vets think skills and knowledge a well-trained vet nurse should have to be of optimum benefit.
Teaching videos and handouts, specific to India, are also being developed by the JMICAWE team to help with the teaching of this new course.
Hayley said, “The 6 month course already trains some extremely dedicated and thoughtful students who either go on to be veterinary assistants or train further as livestock inspectors. With a focus on small animal training, we can ensure that dog and cat inpatients are receiving the best care possible whilst in the clinics from knowledgeable veterinary nurses who support the vet”.
Friday, 10 March 2017
JMICAWE vet team improving dog and cat welfare in Sri Lanka
Heather and Hayley from the JMICAWE have returned to Sri Lanka to further enhance veterinary education in partnership with the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka’s only vet school. The partnership aims to develop collaborative teaching and research initiatives to enhance veterinary skills in canine and feline medicine and surgery and veterinary nursing, supported by funding from the Dog’s Trust.
Heather and Hayley will also deliver CPD in inhalational anaesthesia to Charity partner Dogstar, a Sri Lankan NGO which runs a mobile spay neuter outreach program and has sterilised over 15000 animals, actively reducing the numbers of unwanted puppies and kittens in the Negombo region.
This ongoing collaboration between academic and NGO partners aims to optimise veterinary skills in canine and feline medicine and surgery in Sri Lanka, as well as enhancing practical welfare of in-patients in the University hospitals, and the Dogstar mobile clinic.
This visit builds on Heather and Hayley’s previous visit in November 2016, which resulted in a number of positive activities at the University of Peradeniya, including a 3 day workshop on canine behaviour, medicine, and surgery, sponsored by Dog’s Trust, the development of a new feline ward, and the training of veterinary students, and veterinary assistants from the Sri Lankan police, air force, army and zoo in canine behaviour, handling, and nursing skills.
Thursday, 9 March 2017
Humans are key to improving animal welfare, says Professor Temple Grandin on her recent Edinburgh visit
Humans are key to improving animal welfare
SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and JMICAWE were delighted and honoured to host a visit by Professor Temple Grandin of Colorado State University to Edinburgh in February.
Professor Grandin is a renowned writer on animal welfare, stockmanship and livestock handling, as well as on her experiences of living with autism, and has been a major contributor to improving animal welfare, especially in the USA, for 40 years. She has recently been inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in USA.
During her visit Temple gave a riveting lecture to a packed auditorium of staff and students from SRUC and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in the Roslin Institute. She shared her unique insights into how animals perceive the world, and how this knowledge can be used to improve ease of handling and livestock welfare. She reiterated her views, based on her long experiences in the field, that ‘things’ (handling systems, engineering products, genetics) would not improve animal welfare without improving stockmanship and how people respond to the animals in their care.
Temple has also been very involved in the improvements in animal welfare assessment in the USA, and was clear that these systems worked when the measures were simple, clearly related to the most important animal welfare issues (her ‘critical control points’), and easy to apply in practice.
The feedback on her talk has been extremely positive and students were inspired by her passion and dedication to animal welfare. They were also delighted to be able to interact with her on visits to the vet school and in discussing and presenting their own research. Temple was extremely generous with her time, signing books and posing for photos, and engaging with the research of our PhD students and early career researchers. At the end of her visit we were all left in awe of this great woman, but also inspired and energised to continue to work for improving animal welfare.
A copy of Temple’s seminar will be available soon if you follow this link https://www.sruc.ac.uk/news/article/1802/world_leading_animal_welfare_expert_temple_grandin_speaks_at_sruc_seminar
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
International Women’s Day, 8th March 2017
The theme of this year’s International Women’s day is ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’.
At JMICAWE we would like to believe that this will also mean a planet where all lives are respected and a culture of care for one another exists. With this is mind we would like to celebrate the great women who have worked to improve animal welfare globally:
The explorers, advocates and pioneers for animal welfare change and appreciation of the complexity of animal lives: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Anna Sewell, Mary Midgley, Joy Adamson, Ruth Harrison, Rachel Carson…
The founders of charities, boards and NGOs for animal welfare and protection, and advocates: Maria Dickin (founder PDSA); Dorothy Brooke (founder The Brooke); Mary Tealby (founder Battersea dogs home); Marcia Glaser (co-founder Humane Society); Helen Jones (co-founder Humane Society); Rukmuni Devi Arundale (founder Animal Welfare Board of India); Jill Robinson (founder of Animals Asia); Virginia McKenna (Founder of Born Free); Mary Hutton (Founder of Free the Bears); Pei-Feng Su (Co-founder of ActAsia); Sam Green (Co-Founder of Dogstar); Madame Jeanne Marchig (founder of the Marchig Trust); Joyce D’Silva, Cindy Milburn
The animal welfare researchers: Marian Dawkins, Temple Grandin, Marie-France Bouissou, Christine Nicol, Joy Mench, Ruth Newberry, Anne-Marie de Passille, Carol Petherick, Linda Keeling, Birte Nielsen, Georgia Mason, Isabelle Veissier, Liz Paul, Dot McKeegan, Vicky Sandilands, Janice Swanson, Janice Siegford,… and all the very many female members of ISAE,
Female animal welfare science and veterinary scientists and students around the world.
The unsung heroes of animal welfare: the female veterinary nurses, animal care technicians, volunteers in animal shelters, goushalas, sanctuaries and all those working to improve animal lives on the ground where ever they are in the world.
And of course our very own JMICAWE extended ‘family’ – Heather, Hayley, Fritha, Susan, Tamsin, Amy, Lucy, Cathy, Nat, Louise, Jill, Bryony, Francoise, Marie, Emma, Mel, Sarah, Laura, Irene ….
We thank you all.
Friday, 3 February 2017
Last year the BVA, BSAVA and BVZS put forward a joint response to the government's consultation on animal establishment licensing in the UK.
JMICAWE's own vet, Heather Bacon has been involved through her work with both the BVA and BVZS on this consultation, and in April last year was invited to speak on behalf of BVA at an EFRA enquiry on the effectiveness of the Animal Welfare Act https://www.bva.co.uk/news-campaigns-and-policy/newsroom/news-releases/vets-call-on-mps-for-better-tools-for-enforcement-of-animal-welfare-laws/
During the inquiry Heather gave evidence on the need for the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to be supported by updates to secondary legislation such as the Animal Establishments Act, and the need for greater regulation, particularly around the issue of pet sales.
The updates include that laws around selling pets and breeding dogs will:
- make it completely illegal to sell puppies younger than eight weeks
- require anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year to apply for a formal licence.
Consequences of breaching the new rules include an unlimited fine and/or up to six months in prison.
Wednesday, 4 January 2017
Here at the University of Edinburgh’s Jeanne Marchig international Centre for Animal Welfare Education, we’re looking forward to 2017, and to further developing our exciting projects and partnerships
We’ll continue to focus in the Asia-region with ongoing projects to improve free-roaming dog welfare in India and Sri Lanka in partnership with the Dogs Trust, but we’ll also be working a little closer to home with partnerships to improve welfare in animal shelters in both Gran Canaria and here in Edinburgh.
We’ve built strong links with veterinary schools in China, India, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam and hope to continue to develop these relationships to support veterinary skills developments and promote the role of the veterinary nurse in animal welfare. We’ll also be working on a new project to support improvements in farm animal welfare in China.
We’ll continue our project to improve zoo veterinary skills in China, Japan and Indonesia through collaborations with WAZA, CAZG, EAZA, Animals Asia and Wild Welfare.
We’re also excited to be working on our new Dog & Cat behaviour MOOC to be launched later this year.
2017 is shaping up to be a busy year – we hope that you’ll continue to support us in our endeavours!
Friday, 23 December 2016
As we come to the close of 2016, we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for all that you do to further animal welfare in your work. Without the support and collaboration of people like you, our team would not have been able to achieve what we have over the past year, and certainly the future of animal welfare would not have moved forward as it has. Highlights of our year include:
- The ‘Send a Vet Nurse’ projects in India and Sri Lanka, as well as collaborating with the Indian Government to run a production animal health and welfare workshop for veterinarians and researchers working in Animal Science and Veterinary medicine;
- Working visits to Edinburgh by the Deans and representatives from Indonesian, Philippine and Chinese veterinary schools to learn about international standards, innovation in veterinary teaching, integration of animal welfare and best practice animal care;
- Ongoing collaboration with Dogs Trust to improve free-roaming dog welfare around the world;
- Jointly hosting the 50th Anniversary meeting of International Society for Applied Ethology in Edinburgh, which was attended by a record 600 delegates;
- Improving zoo veterinary skills in China, Japan and Indonesia through collaborations with Animals Asia and Wild Welfare;
- The continuing success of our free online course (MOOC) in Animal Welfare, and a new Dog & Cat MOOC to be launched in 2017;
- The graduation of more ‘online’ Masters students in Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law and an increase in our Animal Welfare Masters community to more than 150 each year;
- The delivery of animal welfare education to multiple partners around the world including China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, USA, Canada and Spain.
Finally, we are extremely grateful to the Marchig Trust for providing the funding that supports the Centre’s work as an integrated unit within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
With our very best wishes and many thanks to you all,
from Professor Cathy Dwyer and the team at the
Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
At the end of November we celebrated the graduation of our International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law MSc students. The graduation ceremony took place at the University of Edinburgh’s beautiful Usher Hall and afterwards our graduates and their families were invited to a post-graduation drinks reception at the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh.
We very much enjoyed meeting up with our students, some of whom we had never met in person before due to the online nature of the MSc in International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law. This year, graduate Jane Stirling was awarded the UFAW prize for the best dissertation for her thesis entitled: Does the cage-trapping of corvids cause unnecessary suffering? A behavioural study of trapped magpies (Pica pica).
The ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate their achievements and we congratulate all our graduates, those that were able to attend the ceremony and those that could not make it to Edinburgh this time. We welcome the graduates into our growing IAWEL Alumni community and wish them all the best in whatever they do next.
Thursday, 15 December 2016
JMICAWE has a new Director
Following the departure of the inaugural Director of JMICAWE, Prof Natalie Waran, to a new job in New Zealand in September, we are delighted to announce that a new Director of the Centre has been formally appointed.
Prof Cathy Dwyer has taken over the leadership of the Centre with effect from 1st December 2016. Cathy will combine the role with her continuing job as the head of the Animal Behaviour and Welfare research team at SRUC (Scottish Rural College). Cathy’s background has been as a research scientist specialising in livestock behaviour and welfare, as well as teaching on BSc and MSc programmes in animal behaviour and welfare. She is an expert in maternal behaviour in sheep and lamb survival, but also conducts research in behavioural development, animal pain and welfare assessment, particularly of extensively managed animals. She has supervised many BSc, MSc and PhD students in these fields. She was awarded the BSAS/RSPCA award for innovative developments in animal welfare in 2013 in recognition of her research in animal welfare. In addition to her research and teaching, Cathy is passionate about research making a difference to the lives of animals, and has worked with farmers, in participative projects, and given talks to the general public, participated in many science festival events and talked about animal welfare to school children.
Cathy has previously worked with Nat and others in the JMICAWE team on delivering workshops in livestock welfare in India and in running the 50th Anniversary meeting of the International Society for Applied Ethology in Edinburgh in July 2016. Her appointment to the Directorship will bring the SRUC research team and the education function of the Centre closer together to develop a strong presence in animal welfare at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus.
Cathy says, ‘It will be a hard act to follow Nat’s inspirational leadership of the Centre, but I am looking forward to the challenge of continuing her good work and of increasing the excellent reputation of the Centre globally’.
A very big welcome to Cathy, we look forward to working alongside you.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
JMICAWE has recently been involved in visits and workshops in New Delhi, India. Our new Director Professor Cathy Dwyer and Dr Marie Haskell visited Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in late November. Both Universities are engaged in developing animal welfare education opportunities for students in India. There are currently no university degrees covering animal welfare in India, and veterinary students receive only a few hours of training in animal welfare. We will be working with both Universities to help them develop teaching materials to address this issue. Whilst at IGNOU Cathy recorded a radio interview, for broadcast as part of the course on IGNOU’s dedicated radio channel, and both Cathy and Marie gave seminars on animal welfare and animal cognition at JNU attended by students, faculty and NGOs. This led to a lively debate on current welfare issues in India, particularly issues with stray dogs and stray cows.
Cathy and Marie were then joined by SRUC scientists, Laura Dixon and Fritha Langford, to host a 2-day workshop at the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) on 1-2 December. We discussed concepts in animal welfare, the need for an evidence-based approach to animal welfare assessment and provided training in animal welfare science methods. This involved a ‘hands on’ session where the thermal imaging equipment sparked much hilarity about who was the coolest! After the workshop we spent a day visiting the ICAR dairy research centre to hear about some of the behaviour projects they are beginning to carry out there, and to discuss future collaborations. We are looking forward to hearing the outcomes of the cognition tests for buffalo calves!
We concluded the visit by a trip to a ‘gaushala’ which provides a home for non-productive stray cows. Cows are sacred to the Hindu religion, and Indian law prohibits the culling of cows. However, this means that elderly or non-productive animals are often left to roam the streets. Gaushalas collect these cows from the streets and volunteers work to worship and take care of them. We were greeted with garlands of marigolds, and took part in a ceremony to honour the cows with jaggery (palm sugar) and some ceremonial cleaning of the stables (in which we participated a little too enthusiastically in sweeping up). The visits ended with prayers in the shrine and a blessing from an old lady who has dedicated her life to worshipping cows.
Monday, 12 December 2016
Two vets, 5 vet nurses and 1 Sri Lankan vet school
This month sees the return of our veterinary nurse Hayley Walters and vet Heather Bacon from their two week visit to Kandy, Sri Lanka where they led a team of three newly qualified veterinary nurses, one student veterinary nurse and one feline medicine vet.
The ‘Send a Vet Nurse to Sri Lanka’ project was a collaboration between the JMICAWE and the University of Peradeniya’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Sri Lanka’s only vet school.
The project involved fully integrating the vet nurse team into the teaching hospital in Sri Lanka and demonstrating to their Sri Lankan counterparts the invaluable support a well-trained VN has to offer in not only improving animal welfare but also the smooth-running of a hospital.
The VNs were professional, hardworking, compassionate and despite being either students or newly qualified, developed the confidence to teach and explain to the vet students there what they were doing and why.
Hayley said, “Sri Lanka has a few challenges when it comes to the veterinary profession: 1) one vet school is providing the education for every single vet in the country and they are incredibly busy and sometimes understaffed; 2) they don’t have trained, qualified veterinary nurses to provide the supportive care needed to ensure a high level of patient care. Many of the small animals that arrive at the hospital are badly injured in road traffic accidents or have complicated medical conditions, but with limited staff and resources, many of the animals are unable to receive the level of care they need as there are almost no staff dedicated to their daily needs”.
Currently in Sri Lanka, trained veterinary surgeons are responsible for all veterinary duties, from basic techniques such as blood sampling or bandaging, to complex surgical procedures. The vast scope of this workload is a challenge to the development of the profession, as excessive time is taken up with minor procedures, basic animal management, and logistics such as stock control, which would, in other parts of the world, normally be the responsibility of the veterinary nurse.
The 4 VNs fully immersed themselves in all aspects of hospital work including the inpatient area, anaesthetic monitoring, surgical patient preparation, handling, cleaning and physiotherapy. The evenings were spent delivering workshops to students and faculty members, clinical skills practise on models and manikins and protocol writing to improve patient care and the running of the hospital. The University had also invited the dog units of the Sri Lankan police, army, navy and air force to attend so outreach was larger than originally expected.
The University of Peradeniya’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science were impressed with what the vet nurses had to offer and all faculty members unanimously agreed to endorse a VN training programme and qualification.
Hayley has just finished writing a VN curriculum for the university to consider and we hope to see Sri Lanka’s first ever Veterinary Nurse Training Curriculum and Associated Diploma Level Qualification in the near future. We trust this will be a long and successful collaboration.
Thursday, 1 December 2016
Judging Animal Welfare
The annual US Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Competition was held at Columbus in Ohio State in November this year, sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (http://www.awjac.org/).
This is an initiative originally developed by Michigan State University and Purdue to engage undergraduate Animal Science students with Animal Welfare, and has now grown to include veterinary undergraduates and graduate students, with around 100 students from schools across USA and Canada taking part this year. Students reviewed two different scenarios for each of three different species management (meat sheep, laboratory guinea pigs and pedigree dogs) and one live scenario (poultry), and provided reasoning for why welfare was better in one situation compared to another.
This year Prof Cathy Dwyer was one of the judges for the meat sheep scenarios, alongside animal scientists and veterinarians from Canada and the US, and also gave a guest lecture on welfare issues associated with sheep production. It was a fun, thought-provoking and exhausting weekend, with lots of intense debate about the welfare merits or costs of various practices, and Cathy was very impressed with the dedication and hard work of all the students and coaches, many of whom were students themselves. Listening to, and marking, the rapid fire delivery of 40 students, each explaining the welfare benefits of sheep scenarios in three minutes, was hard work but very rewarding to see so much attention to detail in thinking about animal welfare. Congratulations to the University of British Colombia on winning the overall best team trophy, and to all the other winners and runners-up for a close-fought competition with such impressive breadth of welfare thinking.
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
ESLAV 20th Anniversary Meeting focuses on Animal Welfare
The joint meeting of the European Society for Laboratory Animal Veterinarians (ESLAV) and the European College for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ECLAM) took place in Lyon in November, with the 3 day meeting focusing on animal welfare.
JMICAWE's new Director Prof Cathy Dwyer was an invited speaker in the session on understanding animal needs, presenting a paper which explained the impact of early life experiences for animals on their later stress responses, behaviour and welfare.
It was a stimulating meeting, with genuine concern for laboratory animal welfare and a desire to improve matters through the development of a ‘culture of care’ running from top to bottom in institutions involved in research. The meeting involved a line-up of excellent speakers including Prof Don Broom, Prof David Fraser, Dr Birte Nielsen, Dr Sarah Heath and Prof Paul Flecknell to name but a few, and was wide-ranging dealing with conceptual issues, animal sensory abilities, lessons which can be learnt from other species and future directions.
Dr Nielsen reminded us that many animal species have very different sensory abilities to our own: seeing in wavelengths, vocalising at frequencies and having olfactory capabilities all of which differ from human perception. Dr Heath discussed welfare issues around companion animal lives, and how owners understanding of the welfare needs of their pets may fall short of reality. Prof Fraser concluded the meeting with an excellent presentation that drew on developments in One Welfare, and reminded us that the most important part of animal welfare was the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of the people who cared for animals.
The meeting stood out as one that engaged with animal welfare of laboratory, farm, zoo and companion animals in attempts to learn from the welfare messages developed by these different sectors.