Last month saw Professor Nat Waran, veterinary surgeon
Heather Bacon and welfare veterinary nurse Hayley Walters, visit Vietnam to
deliver a 3 day Veterinary Education conference at Hanoi Agricultural
After landing in Hanoi the trio had just enough time before
the conference started, to visit a sanctuary full of Moon and Sun bears that
had been rescued from the bile farm industry.
Bear bile has been used in traditional medicine throughout
Asia for thousands of years. Traditionally the bile would be taken from the
gall bladders of killed wild bears but in the last few decades, bear bile
farming was set up and crude extraction techniques were developed. Farming for
bile usually involves keeping bears in small cages for their entire lives and,
in Vietnam, sedating them and inserting a long needle into the gall bladder to
extract the bile despite the practice now being illegal and synthetic
alternatives to bear bile being available.
Bears are either bred in captivity to supply the farm trade
or mothers are shot, cubs snatched and then trafficked around Asia for the
industry. Animals Asia, a Hong Kong based charity, rescues these bears from
farms and after extensive surgery and treatment, rehabilitates them into semi
Heather and Hayley both used to work for Animals Asia so
were revisiting old friends at the bear sanctuary but it was Nat’s first time
there and she was overwhelmed by the experience.
“I was very impressed with the level of dedication that the international and local staff showed towards these hundred plus bears at the sanctuary. And I was pleased to see how happy these bears now appeared in their enriched surroundings, despite the appalling conditions they had previously lived in, some for more than 30 years, and the painful procedures and in come cases permanent damage, they had endured on the farms prior to confiscation.”
Don’t miss the chance to add your voice to the
debate on important topical animal welfare issues by registering now for the
Animal Welfare Foundation's annual Discussion Forum.
AWF is the charity led by the veterinary
profession. Our Discussion Forum brings together vets, vet nurses, animal
welfare organisations, the media and parliamentarians to confront current
welfare issues and inspire change.
Topics under discussion this year include:
What psychological factors are involved in the
growing problem of animal hoarding?
Is a legislative muddle on
animal transport causing extra pain, discomfort and distress?
What does the offence of
causing unnecessary suffering really mean?
How pet MOTs are helping owners to understand the
‘five welfare needs’ message and improve the welfare of their pets.
With a dynamic cast of authoritative speakers, lots
of time for audience interaction and the chance to network with others who
share your interest in improving animal welfare, the Forum is not to be missed.
Animal health and welfare experts from Edinburgh
are taking part in an international conference in Bangalore.
event, which is being organised jointly by the University, will look at ways to
improve the quality of life for both livestock and pets, as well as diseases
threatening India’s wildlife.
discussion include new techniques to address infectious diseases in herd
animals; finding new ways to tackle India’s growing problem of rabid dogs; and
examining treatments for other zoonotic diseases - those affecting both humans
Veterinary Research: Impact and Opportunities” opens on 19 February and
includes a public lecture on the subject of genetically-engineered livestock.
of animal health and, by association, human health in India is a pressing
concern, especially with the numbers of domestic and livestock animals set to
rise significantly in the coming years. My colleagues and I want to learn from
India’s experience and use our expertise to help tackle a diverse range of
animal diseases and welfare issues”.
Professor Natalie Waran Royal (Dick)
School of Veterinary Studies, the University of Edinburgh
The conference is
a collaborative event between the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School
of Veterinary Studies and the Commonwealth Veterinary Association; Karnataka
Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, Bidar; and the National
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bangalore.
“India is a
tremendously important country for the University of Edinburgh. The quality of
the students who apply to us is very high and the numbers wishing to study at
Edinburgh continues to rise. This conference will allow discussion of crucially
important issues that affect India and the wider world and I look forward to
valuable partnerships being established between Edinburgh and our friends in
Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea Principal, the
University of Edinburgh
Online learning for all
delegates will also hear about Edinburgh’s use of technology to provide
distance-learning opportunities for around the world.
In addition to a
large number of postgraduate courses, Edinburgh has pioneered the provision of
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These free online courses are available to
anyone. Typically lasting six weeks, Edinburgh’s MOOCs include courses such as
“Animal Behaviour and Welfare” and “The Discovery of the Higgs boson”.
To date, more than
600,000 people have enrolled for Edinburgh’s MOOCs.
Working with India
Edinburgh has a
long history of collaboration with Indian universities and research institutes.
In 1875 the Indian Association, the first South Asian Student Association ever
in the United Kingdom was founded at Edinburgh and the following year saw the
first Indian student graduate from the University.
Over the past few
decades Edinburgh’s relationship with India has grown and strengthened and this
year the University has almost 250 Indian students enrolled- more than twice as
many as 5 years ago.
In 2013, the
University launched the Edinburgh India Institute. This provides a focal point
to collate all research and cultural links between Edinburgh and India.
Activities in 2013 included hosting a visit from students with disabilities
from Delhi University and sending a group of over 80 Edinburgh students on the
College on Wheels project across northern India.
India office, based in Mumbai, provides a local liaison point for Edinburgh’s
activities across the country.
rising human population there is an associated greater demand for food
particularly in rapidly developing countries such as India. Alongside this there is increasing international concern
about standards of animal health and welfare and an enhanced awareness of the
need to find effective and sustainable measures to produce safe food to
safeguard human welfare. Over recent years we have increasingly looked
to our nation’s veterinarians to ensure that the animals used for food,
companionship or research are not only productive and healthy but are also
managed humanely. It is becoming increasingly emphasised that international
standards of animal welfare are vital not only for animal disease management,
but also for sustainable productivity, food safety and public health, and there
is an expectation that the veterinary profession take a leading role in
promoting respect for animals in a progressive society.
issues and finding new ways of enhancing animal health and welfare is clearly a
complex and important area and one that is of particular relevance to the
veterinary community in India. Early next week, scientists from Edinburgh will
travel to Bangalore to present at an International animal health and welfare
conference brings together the Commonwealth Veterinary Association who in
partnership with other organizations is playing a lead role in addressing the
problems of animal welfare throughout its member countries, with the University
of Edinburgh and associated research institutes, such as the Roslin Institute
and Scotland’s Rural College. The key
organisers, Dr Abdul Rahman, President of the CVA and Professor Nat Waran,
Director of the RDSVS’s Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare,
have put together a 5 day programme which will not only explore advances in
veterinary research and key messages for India, but will also address the
internationally important issues of animal welfare and canine rabies control.
It is expected that this gathering of animal scientists, veterinarians, NGO’s
and government representatives will allow the exploration of opportunities for
new international collaborations to enable the sharing of best practice and
development of new initiatives for advancing animal health and welfare
research, education, policy and practice in India and wider afield.
A survey of the
animals on the Isle of Arran has been conducted by scientists who are
monitoring the population in a bid to help save the species.
They have found
the squirrels to be in excellent health and showing few signs of disease.
particularly relieved to find no evidence of the deadly squirrelpox virus.
squirrelpox at bay is vital to red squirrel survival and being on an island
gives Arran’s population the best chance of avoiding this disease.
The findings are
good news for the future of this endangered species.
around the UK are under threat from deadly diseases and competition for food
and habitat from grey squirrels, which were introduced to Britain from North
America in the 19th century.
Arran is one of 19
red squirrel strongholds in Scotland - there are no grey squirrels on the
Red squirrels are
found in both deciduous and coniferous woods all over the island.
The survey was led
by vets and scientists at the University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary
Studies and funded by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Forestry
The team humanely
trapped and examined 21 live squirrels with the help of local foresters and
Vets also examined
the remains of 16 squirrels that had been killed on the roads.
checks included tests for common squirrel diseases, such as parasites and
viruses, and also investigated the genetics of the animals.
populations of red squirrels have been found to have high levels of diseases,
and lack of genetic diversity could also affect their health, so we’re
delighted to find that Arran’s red squirrels are fit and healthy.” Professor Anna Meredith
Animal welfare given a
regional focus in Singapore
Last week Heather Bacon of the JMICAWE travelled to
Singapore to attend the Asia for Animals Conference. Asia for Animals is a
regional coalition of NGOs working on diverse animal welfare issues across the
The conference brings together animal welfare experts,
campaigners and grassroots groups to share information and expertise on
techniques to improve welfare ranging from effective utilisation of social media
to resolving conflict at the human-wildlife interface. Heather delivered a
lecture during the main session on ‘Animal welfare – moving beyond the Five
Freedoms’ and ran a workshop session on optimising veterinary care’, focusing
on issues relating to pain recognition and management. In addition workshops on
the ‘dog meat trade’ and ‘dog population management’ provided opportunities to discuss
some of the work done by the JMICAWE in these areas.
Building capacity and skills using clinical training
materials and evidence based on research is a crucial part of the work done by
JMICAWE and we look forward to the next meeting in 2015!
Veterinary Association and Karnataka Veterinary Council in
association with The University of Edinburgh’s Royal
(Dick) School of Veterinary Studies are organising a talk in India:
and time: 19th
February 2014, 3pm
Venue: Karnataka Veterinary Council
auditorium, Veterinary College campus, Hebbal, Bangalore
Title: "A future for genetically
Presented by Professor Bruce Whitelaw - Head of
Division of Developmental Biology at the Roslin Institute and Professor of
Professor Whitelaw’s research
focus throughout his career has been the development and application of gene
expression systems in transgenic animals.
Having pioneered the use of
lentivirus vectors for transgene delivery, he is currently establishing robust
methodology for genome editing in livestock and seeks to apply this technology in the
field of animal biotechnology. Specifically, he aims to exploit this knowledge
to develop innovative biotechnological solutions to combat infectious disease
in animals, evaluate new treatments of human disease through transgenic animal
models, and establish efficient protein production systems in animals.
He is the current
Editor-in-Chief of ‘Transgenic Research’ and a past member of the OIE Ad hoc
Group on Biotechnology.
The Roslin Institute is a UK
National Institute of Bioscience (NIB) and is part of the University of
Edinburgh’s, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. The Roslin Institute
undertakes top-class basic and translational science to tackle some of the most
pressing issues in animal health and welfare, their implications for human
health and for the role of animals in the food chain. The Institute won
international fame in 1996, when Professor Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and their
colleagues created ‘Dolly the Sheep’, the first mammal to be cloned from an
For more information contact:
Pankaj Muthe - firstname.lastname@example.org
team here at the R(D)SVS received welcome news over the festive periodwhen they discovered that their application
for a Dogs Trust Canine Welfare Research Grant had been successful.
research proposal entitled ‘Developing
and validating a robust canine welfare audit system for use in Trap Neuter
Return (TNR) programmes,’ aims to develop an effective framework to
evaluate the welfare of individual dogs through trap-neuter-return programmes.
(TNR) of free-ranging domestic dogs is an important tool in preventing
conservation problems such as infectious disease transfer to wildlife
populations and hybridisation with endangered wild canidae. Additionally TNR is
recommended by the OIE as a tool to combat problems relating to dog
overpopulation such as zoonotic disease e.g. rabies, shelter overpopulation,
and dog bite attacks on humans
Heather Bacon of the JMICAWE, who is leading the project said
well-planned TNR programmes are a useful tool in addressing these issues, it is
important to recognise that welfare of the individual dog may be compromised by
a population management approach. This project seeks to develop a framework by
which we can objectively assess the impact of TNR population management programmes
on the welfare of the individual dogs experiencing TNR.”
Trust is supported by our Head of School Prof David Argyle, who acts as a
trustee, and collaborative projects with the Dogs Trust including both the
Canine Welfare Grant research project and Veterinary training initiatives in
Sarejevo, Bosnia, have been supported by Professor Natalie Waran, Director of
the Centre, and Hayley Walters RVN of the JMICAWE.
JMICAWE Veterinary welfare and
outreach manager Heather Bacon training Chinese students in appropriate
neutering, anaesthesia and analgesia techniques.
JMICAWE Animal welfare and Anaesthesia
Veterinary nurse Hayley Walters (centre), training Bosnian vets as part of a collaborative
Dogs Trust training programme
Better care for pregnant animals can have a positive and lifelong effect on their offspring, says Cathy Dwyer
WE KNOW that the love and support of parents, especially in our early years, is critical to human development. Not only does a parent provide the food, shelter and comfort we need, they also help us shape our thoughts, opinions and cultural references.
For many domestic and farmed animals, the reality is quite different. They are often separated from their mothers at an early age. Scientists, including a team at Scotland’s Rural College, are trying to assess how that affects the offspring – and we are finding that good welfare begins in the womb.
The Dick Vet - LT2 @ 4pm Title: "The
role of the WVS in improving animal welfare"
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. Although primarily based in his New Forest
practice, Pilgrims, his voluntarywork
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.
year, the Trustee’s of the respected international grant making charity the
Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, recognise through its top Award individuals or organisations
for their outstanding services to animal welfare.The Trustee’s are therefore pleased to
announce, that the recipient of the prestigious “Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare
Award 2013” is Luke Gamble MRCVS, the Founder and CEO of the Worldwide Veterinary
Service, based in the UK.
Luke Gamble established the Worldwide Veterinary
Service (WVS) in 2003 to alleviate animal suffering and improve the
moral perception of animals worldwide by co-ordinating teams of veterinary volunteers
to assist the work of animal welfare organisations; supplying medicines,
equipment and advice where they are most needed; and providing sustainable
input, building long term relationships and establishing education programmes
for the benefit of local animal and human populations.
its inception, WVS has sent many hundreds of volunteer ‘veterinary teams’ to almost
every continent of the world, including when required ‘Emergency Response
Teams’ to help the needy ‘front line’ animal welfare and protection
organisations alleviate the cruelty and suffering inflicted on animals in their
areas and thus enable them to cope better with the demands placed upon
them.WVS has also sent to these and
other organisations each year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of free
veterinary medicines,equipment and
materials which it had sourced from supportive veterinary companies.
Gamble through WVS, established
an International Training Centre (ITC) in India, which provides a platform for both vets in India and worldwide to
learn best practice techniques in areas such as humane stray animal population
control and vaccination programmes.In
addition, this year he spearheaded
a new initiative in India entitled ‘Mission Rabies’ which aims to undertake
mass anti-rabies vaccination programmes in ten ‘hotspots’ whilst at the same
time, running surgical training courses for local vets. The initial goal of
this project was to vaccinate 50,000 dogs against rabies in one month.However, instead with a team of Indian and
international vets, local charity workers and volunteers, incredibly over
61,000 dogs were vaccinated in just 28 days.
In announcing the 2013 winner of the Award, the Chairman of the
Trustees, Les Ward commented: “As in previous years, the Trustees of the Marchig Animal Welfare
Trust received a large number of nominations for the Award from all over the
world.With so many worthy candidates,
the decision was not easy.Nevertheless,
in the end the Trustees were unanimous that the “Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare
Award 2013” should be made to Luke Gamble, the Founder and CEO of the Worldwide
Veterinary Service in recognition of his outstanding and tireless practical
work over many years in the international field of animal welfare and
voluntary direction, WVS has become one of the most effective international
animal welfare and protection organisations.Through providing much needed support to other organisations throughout
the world, WVS is making a huge difference in the fight to help, protect and
alleviate the suffering of animals.Both
Luke and WVS are worthy recipients of this Award”.
receiving the “Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award 2013”, Luke Gamble said:
is a huge honour to receive this award and I would like to thank the Trustees
very much. The Marchig Trust has long been a source
of inspiration to charities and individuals involved in animal welfare around
the world, and for WVS to be recognised in this way is a huge lift to both me
and the whole team. The pledge is to now direct this fantastic award towards
making a difference where it counts – on the front line of animal welfare,
championing the united ideals of both WVS and The Marchig Trust.”
Staff at the JMICAWE have just returned from a successful
visit to the Kasetsart University in Thailand, where they delivered a workshop
on integrating animal welfare and problem-based learning into the veterinary
curriculum. Delegates from the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia as well as
from Veterinary schools across Thailand, and also the WSPA, attended the
The workshop covered essential aspects of international
veterinary training including critical thinking skills, problems-solving
approaches and providing education for different leaning styles utilising the
theme of animal welfare to demonstrate how best to introduce new subjects into
The workshop also challenged existing paradigms in
veterinary education and discussed the importance of animal welfare in
practice, exemplified by the use of non-animal models and manikins into the
curriculum, something which has been championed by Professor Apinam, the Dean
of Kasetsart Veterinary School, and developer of rubber latex alternatives to
Heather Bacon of the JMICAWE said ” We are delighted with
the success of the workshop and with the strong focus on utilising alternatives
to animals in veterinary teaching that we found at Kasetsart. Through our
collaborative activities, Professor Apinam in Thailand has already sent some of
his models to our colleagues in veterinary schools in China, and we at the
JMICAWE hope to continue to support these collaborations across Asia”.
to our MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare students of 2012-13 who
It was a fantastic ceremony in the amazing McEwan
Hall, with everyone enjoying wearing their gowns, being presented with their certificates and even singing along with the
Following post ceremony celebrations with numerous photos being taken and many hugs being given from proud families and friends (and equally proud staff members) - we all headed off to the beautiful Playfair Library for a Graduation