Monday, 2 March 2015


The Truth about Cats and Dogs – ‘Street Dog’ and our MOOC!

Last week, week three of our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Animal Behaviour and Welfare discussed some of the welfare challenges that our companion animals face, and what we can do to improve their quality of life.



Those who are currently enrolled in the programme have added a further 20,000 + students to the 34,000 that took part in the MOOC last summer, thus creating a huge online community spanning 160 countries to learn about and discuss animal welfare. If you want to join, it’s not too late – sign up here!


In ‘The Truth about Cats and Dogs’, JMICAWE’s Hayley talked us through how we can better understand the physical and emotional needs of our cats and dogs and how these are influenced by the way we choose to care for them. The course also looked at the increase in issues with stray, abandoned and cruelly treated animals, and how the way we manage these issues can affect not only the welfare of the individual animal but its relationship with human society.

 

In the MOOC this week we will be discussing production animal welfare- entitled ‘Down on the Farm’, with Fritha. We hope to see you there, and as always please feel free to get in touch on social media whilst you’re taking part in the course on-

 

Twitter - @JMICAWE using #EdAniWelf and #animalwelfare

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


International Partnership agreement for advancement of animal production, health and welfare signed between University of Edinburgh and ICAR
An exciting collaboration has been agreed between the University of Edinburgh and the Government of India’s Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), which was signed at a two day workshop on production animal health and welfare held in Delhi last week.
With the world population set to rise to 9 billion by 2050, and an expected significant increase in meat consumption, meeting the future demand for safe, sustainable and affordable livestock products is a high priority. As this need for greater animal production rises, it is important to recognise the critical relationship between poor standards of animal health and welfare, reduced animal productivity and human health. With a population of 1.3 billion people and home to 600 million livestock animals and rising, India is expected to be one of the countries with a substantial increase in the amount of meat they eat; as such, this is a highly important topic for the future of Indian agriculture.
 
 
The objective of last week’s two-day international workshop, which was co-organised by ICAR and the University of Edinburgh, through the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, was to discuss and develop collaborative research and education opportunities that will lead to improved animal production, health and welfare. Over sixty ICAR scientists met with veterinary institutes and associated Universities at this stimulating event, alongside ten academics from Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Roslin Institute and Scotland’s Rural College including chief guest Professor James Smith (Edinburgh University’s International Vice Principal) and JMICAWE’s Director, Professor Nat Waran.
The knowledge exchange activity provided fruitful discussion, not only on future research collaborations but also on the use of new technologies in helping to improve animal resistance to disease, the enhancement of sustainable animal productivity, methods to improve production animal welfare and also on capacity building through education. It was agreed that through international partnership, Indian veterinary and animal science training can be strengthened to provide the well-qualified skilled and animal welfare educated researchers and veterinarians needed to serve the ever-evolving needs of the animals and people of India.

Sustainability is key to success, and at the workshop held at the ICAR headquarters on the 16th and 17th February, a Memorandum of Understanding was co-signed by the Vice-Principal of the University of Edinburgh and the Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, cementing what will be a long and fruitful relationship to benefit Indian production animal health and welfare research and veterinary education over the coming years.
We are very much looking forward to working closely with our Indian colleagues to collaborate in key strategic research and education areas, to advance livestock production and health, whilst integrating raised awareness of the methods and necessity for improving standards of animal welfare.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Lights, Camera, Action! – Hayley Walters in the Spotlight

The JMICAWE was visited this week by a team from CEVA to film a short interview with Hayley Walters as she has been nominated for CEVA Welfare Nurse of the Year Award, further to her Golden Jubilee award last year for outstanding contribution to Veterinary Nursing.




 
Hayley Walters splits her time between JMICAWE, where her work has taken her around the world as she tries to improve the welfare of animals used by trainee vets, and the Small Animal Hospital at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies where she works as an anaesthesia nurse.

It may surprise some of you to learn that around the world, particularly in Asia, trainee vets are practising a multitude of procedures on live animals that don’t require the treatment. Some of these procedures include basic clinical skills such as blood taking, suturing and more invasive surgical procedures such as orthopaedic surgery which can cause serious lasting damage to an animal when performed repeatedly and often incorrectly. Hayley and Heather have presented to some of these veterinary schools using our manikins to show how these procedures can be taught and practised without using live animals, along with more general veterinary training in pain management and hospitalised patient care.

 



Hayley has also assisted Animals Asia on their Moon Bears project (which you may remember from a previous blog) and in Thailand with dogs being rescued from the dog meat trade amongst her international animal welfare work.

Domestically, Hayley works as a Veterinary Nurse specialising in anaesthesia, taking her own cases and also teaching students about anaesthesia and analgesia.

With all of this incredible work behind her, we certainly think she’s gone the extra mile to help improve the lives of animals around the world and it’s not difficult to see why Hayley has been nominated to receive the Welfare Nurse of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the CEVA Welfare Awards on Wednesday 8th April and we wish her all the best!

You can see Hayley in action for yourself by signing up to our FREE Animal Behaviour and Welfare MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) – at present we have over 19,500 people signed up from 160 countries around the world. A short article on the MOOC numbers, taken from the first time the course was run last summer, is available here;


And if you’d like to join the MOOC yourself and contribute towards an improved understanding of Animal Behaviour and Welfare around the world, you can sign up for free by following this link;


Please note that if you wish to use this course for your CPD that it is best to sign up to Signature Track so that your coursework can be tied to your learning identity.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

4 DAYS TO GO - Sign up today! FREE Animal Welfare and Behaviour MOOC Course


 

Don't forget our popular MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) course will be starting on the 9th February. It's not too late to sign up.

 

Are you a native Mandarin Chinese or Spanish speaker? This time we will have an option to watch the videos translated into your native language and we hope this will be useful.


Further enrichment: We will also be adding an optional unassessed week to the course to cover supplementary topics that might be of interest.

This is a free course.  Sign up today:



Tweet: @JMICAWE
#EdAniWelf

 

Animal welfare is often an emotive subject provoking heated debates and sometimes radical action. However it is also a challenging science based subject that involves consideration of animal emotions and how we can best understand the world from the perspective of a different species.

Through a free online course, animal behaviour and welfare experts from the Jeanne Marchig International Animal Welfare Centre at the University of Edinburgh, will provide knowledge and understanding about the application of animal behaviour and the science of animal welfare. This will ensure that viewers are better equipped to argue for or against a specific issue relating to animal care, management or use, using a rigorous, evidence based approach.


Jill MacKay, Hayley Walters, Natalie Waran, Heather Bacon, and Fritha Langford (L to R) and dogs Stewart, Muthie and Matthilda (L to R)

During the course of the 6 week period, viewers will be provided with a real world view of animal welfare and the work of the animal welfare researcher, as well as interactive sessions and discussion on topics ranging from; why animal welfare matters from a global perspective, how science can help to advance animal welfare, why animal feelings are central to animal welfare, to the truth about dogs and cats, the ethics and welfare of keeping animals in zoos and how we can deal with farm animal welfare problems.

Animal welfare often means different things to different people, and opinions are varied and debates often heated. But if we are to achieve higher standards of animal welfare worldwide, we need to be able to rely on more than our emotional response. We need to provide scientifically validated evidence that will help persuade those with competing agendas and from different parts of the world where animals and their needs are less well recognised, that animal welfare matters, not just to animals but also for human wellbeing. Providing credible and accessible animal welfare education such as this free online course, will help to provide knowledge and understanding that can be used to more convincingly argue for animals, the important role they play in many aspects of our lives and the importance of ensuring that their welfare needs are met’

Professor Nat Waran, Director Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education

 

The Coursera Partnership

These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are being delivered via the Coursera partnership - a network of leading international universities which offer short undergraduate-level online courses free of charge.

If you are interested in the School's MOOCs, more information can be found on the Coursera website where you can also sign up for the courses.

 

Monday, 2 February 2015

JMICAWE Team Member Hayley Walters on shortlist for Ceva Welfare Award


Ceva has announced the shortlist for its annual animal welfare awards, which this year attracted more nominations than ever.



In JMICAWE, we are delighted that  our very own  team member Hayley Walters has been shortlisted for this prestigious award out of hundreds of entries.

The awards, now in their fourth year, recognise those who have gone the extra mile to help better the lives of animals around the world, be they veterinary professionals, volunteers or charity workers.

All the award winners will be announced at a ceremony  in Birmingham on April 8.
 
Read more about it here:

http://www.vetsonline.com/news/latest-headlines/150202-judges-choose-their-shortlist-for-ceva-welfare-awards.html
 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Bienestar y Comportamiento Animal MOOC (Massive Open Online Course - curso web abierto y masivo)

Estamos encantados de anunciar que volvemos a ofrecer nuestro popular MOOC, comenzando el 9 de febrero.

¿Eres hispanohablante? Esta vez tendremos una opción para poder ver los vídeos traducidos al español , esperamos que sea util.

Este es un curso gratuito. Matricúlate hoy:




Tweet: @JMICAWE
#EdAniWelf



Animal Welfare and Behaviour MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

We are delighted to announce we will be running our popular MOOC course again, starting on the 9th February.

Are you a native Mandarin Chinese or Spanish speaker? This time we will have an option to watch the videos translated into your native language and we hope this will be useful.

Further enrichment: We will also be adding an optional unassessed week to the course to cover supplementary topics that might be of interest.

 
Animal welfare is often an emotive subject provoking heated debates and sometimes radical action. However it is also a challenging science based subject that involves consideration of animal emotions and how we can best understand the world from the perspective of a different species.

Through a free online course, animal behaviour and welfare experts from the Jeanne Marchig International Animal Welfare Centre at the University of Edinburgh, will provide knowledge and understanding about the application of animal behaviour and the science of animal welfare. This will ensure that viewers are better equipped to argue for or against a specific issue relating to animal care, management or use, using a rigorous, evidence based approach.

During the course of the 6 week period, viewers will be provided with a real world view of animal welfare and the work of the animal welfare researcher, as well as interactive sessions and discussion on topics ranging from; why animal welfare matters from a global perspective, how science can help to advance animal welfare, why animal feelings are central to animal welfare, to the truth about dogs and cats, the ethics and welfare of keeping animals in zoos and how we can deal with farm animal welfare problems.

 

动物福利与行为慕课(网络公开课) (Animal Welfare and Behaviour MOOC )


动物福利与行为慕课(网络公开课)

很高兴地告诉大家,从29日起,我们将会继续开展之前受到大家欢迎的课程。

您的母语是中文吗?这一次我们的视频会译成中文,希望会对您更有帮助。


请马上报名,加入我们免费课程吧: 


Tweet: @JMICAWE
#EdAniWelf

 
Animal Welfare and Behaviour MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

We are delighted to announce we will be running our popular MOOC course again, starting on the 9th February

Are you a native Mandarin Chinese speaker? This time we will have an option to watch the videos translated into your native language and we hope this will be useful.

 Animal welfare is often an emotive subject provoking heated debates and sometimes radical action. However it is also a challenging science based subject that involves consideration of animal emotions and how we can best understand the world from the perspective of a different species.

Through a free online course, animal behaviour and welfare experts from the Jeanne Marchig International Animal Welfare Centre at the University of Edinburgh, will provide knowledge and understanding about the application of animal behaviour and the science of animal welfare. This will ensure that viewers are better equipped to argue for or against a specific issue relating to animal care, management or use, using a rigorous, evidence based approach.

During the course of the 6 week period, viewers will be provided with a real world view of animal welfare and the work of the animal welfare researcher, as well as interactive sessions and discussion on topics ranging from; why animal welfare matters from a global perspective, how science can help to advance animal welfare, why animal feelings are central to animal welfare, to the truth about dogs and cats, the ethics and welfare of keeping animals in zoos and how we can deal with farm animal welfare problems.

 
 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Animal Welfare talk by Luke Gamble for Vet School students

 
On Friday Luke Gamble will be visiting us at the R(D)SVS to deliver a talk to our students about his work with Mission Rabies.  Further to his successful talk last year, we very much look forward to welcoming him back.
 
His  talk is part  of the special seminar series that is run by the R(D)SVS and JMICAWE and is aimed at our  students, comprising of  a programme of presentations, case-based discussions and interactive workshops, covering a range of topics, in addition to core and selective teaching. It is an opportunity to learn from external speakers and to develop a more specialised knowledge.


The Mission’ will take place on Friday 23 January @ 4pm, G01, Veterinary Teaching Building, R(D)SVS, Easter Bush

 
Luke Gamble graduated from Bristol University in 1999 as a vet and then went on to Cambridge to specialise in large animal medicine and surgery. He is CEO of Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) and Mission Rabies. Although primarily based in his New Forest practice, Pilgrims, his extra curricular work with the Worldwide Veterinary Service charity 'which he founded in 2003' takes him much further afield and was the subject of two TV series on Sky 1. He also runs an emergency service for animals in Dorset and a pet travel company.

 
More about Luke can be found on his website: http://lukegamble.com/home/


(Image Courtesy of Luke Gamble's website http://lukegamble.com/home/)

COMING SOON: Animal Welfare and Behaviour MOOC. Sign up for 9th Feb Start Date


We will be running our popular Animal Welfare and Behaviour MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) again, starting on the 9th February.

Are you a native Mandarin Chinese or Spanish speaker? This time we will have an option to watch the videos translated into your native language and we hope this will be useful.

 

We will also be adding an optional un-assessed week to the course to cover supplementary topics that might be of interest.

 

This is a free course.  Sign up today:  www.coursera.org/course/animal


Tweet: @JMICAWE
#EdAniWelf



Animal welfare is often an emotive subject provoking heated debates and sometimes radical action. However it is also a challenging science based subject that involves consideration of animal emotions and how we can best understand the world from the perspective of a different species.
Through a free online course, animal behaviour and welfare experts from the Jeanne Marchig International Animal Welfare Centre at the University of Edinburgh, will provide knowledge and understanding about the application of animal behaviour and the science of animal welfare. This will ensure that viewers are better equipped to argue for or against a specific issue relating to animal care, management or use, using a rigorous, evidence based approach.


Meet the team: Jill MacKay, Hayley Walters, Natalie Waran, Heather Bacon, and Fritha Langford (L to R) and dogs Stewart, Muthie and Matthilda (L to R)

During the course of the 6 week period, viewers will be provided with a real world view of animal welfare and the work of the animal welfare researcher, as well as interactive sessions and discussion on topics ranging from; why animal welfare matters from a global perspective, how science can help to advance animal welfare, why animal feelings are central to animal welfare, to the truth about dogs and cats, the ethics and welfare of keeping animals in zoos and how we can deal with farm animal welfare problems.

Animal welfare often means different things to different people, and opinions are varied and debates often heated. But if we are to achieve higher standards of animal welfare worldwide, we need to be able to rely on more than our emotional response. We need to provide scientifically validated evidence that will help persuade those with competing agendas and from different parts of the world where animals and their needs are less well recognised, that animal welfare matters, not just to animals but also for human wellbeing. Providing credible and accessible animal welfare education such as this free online course, will help to provide knowledge and understanding that can be used to more convincingly argue for animals, the important role they play in many aspects of our lives and the importance of ensuring that their welfare needs are met’
Professor Nat Waran
Director Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education

 

The Coursera Partnership

These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are being delivered via the Coursera partnership - a network of leading international universities which offer short undergraduate-level online courses free of charge.

 



 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Exciting times for animal welfare in India


It is really exciting times for animal welfare, with increasing political interest in the plight of animals in developing countries such as India where it is becoming increasingly clear that there is an important link between human and animal welfare.  
 
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar today said the government alone cannot ensure animal welfare and organisations from the country and outside should come forward to play crucial role in addressing the concerns:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora-fauna/Javadekar-seeks-help-from-outside-govt-for-animal-welfare/articleshow/45891259.cms
 

"Since everything cannot be governmental, these efforts by various organisations, discussing important issues from across the world, are crucial for the welfare of animals," Javadekar said.


He was addressing 'Minding Animals Conference' hosted by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in collaboration with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
 

We are very pleased to say that the Jeanne Marchig Centre was invited to talk about the work we are doing with the veterinary profession in India. Heather Bacon recently travelled to Delhi to attend the Minding Animals Conference where a large number of international animal welfare organisations and individuals interested in raising standards for animals across the world and she gave a paper on behalf of the Marchig Centre entitled, One Health – One Welfare. 

 
Further information about the Minding Animals Conference can be found on their website:

http://mindinganimalsconf3.in/about-mac3/

 

 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Celebrating a busy and productive year for Animal Welfare Education from the JMICAWE team

As we race towards the end of 2014 we wanted to wish all our followers, contacts, colleagues and friends our warmest wishes of the season.

Looking back, we have had a tremendous year working towards improving animal welfare through education.  The team has partnered with various NGOs, Universities and Government depts. To deliver a wide variety of workshops in a number of countries such as China, Vietnam and India as well as closer to home in Europe and the UK.   In addition we have engaged with various animal welfare groups to develop robust measures for assessing the effectiveness and welfare issues related to dog and cat population management, and have worked in Bosnia, Botswana and India to deliver valuable Trap-Neuter –Return  (TNR) training and research.

Over the summer we ran what turned out to be a highly successful MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) reaching 33500 people from 163 countries. For those who haven’t yet had the chance to participate, we will be running the course again in February 2015 and will be sending out details about this in the New Year- so watch this space! (https://www.coursera.org/course/animal)

We have collaborated and worked with some wonderful organisations s developing online courses and capacity building and our work with these will continue into 2015 as we expand our animal welfare capacity building work.

Conferences have also featured well this last year- starting with the 5 day conference in February held in Bangalore in collaboration with the Commonwealth Veterinary Association Including a day on Advances in Animal Welfare’, working with the WPA team in Asia for their key Driver programme held in Taiwan, partnering with The Animals Asia Foundation team in Vietnam and China on veterinary educator capacity building workshops, initiating the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University’s three day workshop on developing veterinary nursing in India and providing animal welfare education and research contributions in conference sessions at meetings related to; horses, captive wildlife and companion animal conferences. We have quite a number of events lined up for next year and look forward to meeting some of you on our travels. Closer to home here at the Vet School, we started the year with a successful International seminar series that was very well attended by our veterinary undergraduates in fourth and final year.  Our online and on-campus Masters Programmes continue to grow and we welcomed many new students in the new academic year.  Our Animal Welfare and Behaviour final year Elective course proved popular as an option for  our Undergraduates, and we are running it next year with an extra week and for a larger cohort.

We have some exciting plans for 2015 as we continue with our animal welfare work, so please keep reading our Blog and Twitter feeds for the latest news about our activities.

Meanwhile we would like to wish you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas holiday period and all the best for 2015

The JMICAWE Team
Edinburgh, Scotland



 

 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

“Vets for Animal Welfare” Workshop


Titus Alexander, who has worked internationally on veterinary education in animal welfare with World Animal Protection, recently visited the students at the Royal (Dick) Vet School with a workshop of Animal Advocacy for student vets.
 
The JMICAWE team had seen this workshop in action in Taiwan, back in August, and it was very exciting to see it happen again. The Edinburgh students said they found the workshop very useful. The workshop focussed on how vets can be advocates for animal welfare as the main point of contact for the public in dealing with most animal species. What is the veterinarian’s role in animal welfare, especially when they are presented with cases which can sometimes be challenging or distressing?
 
Our students found the workshop very interesting and useful with one student saying they learned: ‘That as a vet I have the opportunity to influence changes” and another saying 'I would highly recommend [the course]. It complements our veterinary curriculum quite well.’
 
It’s great to see the next generation of vets engaging with animal welfare advocacy early in their careers and we thank Titus for the opportunity.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

2nd Global Webinar on Animal Welfare, a success for the World Veterinary Association


 
This week, JMICAWE Director, Prof Nat Waran, was invited to give the main presentation for the first session of the WVA global webinar, on the use of the MOOC for assisting education and training. With 11 eminent presenters and panel members from organisations including; the European commission, OIE, FVE, WAVMA, FAO,AVMA IVSA and various national governments as well as around 65 invited participants, this was a truly international affair.
The animal behaviour and welfare MOOC accessed by more than 34,000 people from 163 countries, was used as one example of creating accessible animal welfare education using new technology, and discussion centred around the way in which this sort of approach could be tailored for specific audiences, and how we can use this sort of platform for creating credible relevant learning material for people from diverse backgrounds. Other presenters provided some interesting insights into the online training resources developed for veterinary students and practitioners, and it was concluded that there is a wealth of material available and new technology can play an important role in helping with accessibility. But there was recognition that we now need to get together to prevent wasteful duplication of effort, ensure that there was some consistency in the message regarding welfare and assessment, and to avoid audience confusion.   
This was a really interesting event, and a recorded version of the afternoon’s talks and discussion can be accessed online through the FVE and WVA websites.
 
 
Prof Nat Waran at the Webinar
 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Animal Welfare on the Agenda in India – Maneka Gandhi meeting


Last week saw the JMICAWE director Nat Waran meet with Indian Government Minister, Maneka Gandhi, for a discussion about the work Edinburgh is involved with in relation to veterinary education in India, as well as discussing future plans and shared interests.


Although Maneka is currently the Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development in the Government of new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she is well known for her passion for animal welfare; she was instrumental in creating India’s Animal Welfare Ministry—a first in the world, and serving as its first Minister. As Minister for Animal Welfare, she banned the use of bears, primates and big cats in public performances, developed and championed a National Animal Welfare Institute to impart training in the field, and she has published many books and magazines for all audiences about animal welfare. Maneka remains committed to helping to support activities aimed at education especially for women in rural areas, where animals play such an important part of lives.

Discussions were far ranging and positive, and it was clear that many of the JMICAWE ambitions for improving the lives of animals in India through empowering the veterinary profession with the knowledge and skills they need to be advocates for animal welfare, are shared with her. We look forward to further positive interactions in the future. 

 


Maneka Gandhi
(Image courtesy of: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maneka_Gandhi.jpg)