Wednesday, 22 February 2012

CAWC Conference - 21 April 2012

The First CAWC Animal Welfare Conference: 21 April 2012
Share this post with your friends and colleagues...The College of Animal Welfare is proud to be hosting the first CAWC Animal Welfare Conference on Saturday 21 April 2012 at its new education and conference centre in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire!

CAWC, the Companion Animal Welfare Council, was launched in 1999 and was set up “to conduct independent studies into the welfare, care and treatment of companion animals and their role within society.” These studies have served as a foundation for the Council’s role as providers of specialist advice to organisations, institutions and Government.

The Conference is composed of a series of lectures and open forums and will be introduced by CAWC Chairman Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior. A number of distinguished speakers will be providing viewpoints on a wide range of animal welfare topics.

Professor Sheila Crispin FRCVS and Mr Peter Scott FRCVS will cover ethical issues pertaining to the keeping of small animals and exotics. Mr Peter C Jinman OBE MRCVS will explore large animal ownership, and will discuss the latest issues facing pet insurance in modern veterinary practice in an open forum with a number of the other expert speakers.

Mr Neil Forbes MRCVS will talk about problems that occur when people make bad choices in pet ownership. Professor Sir Colin Spedding CBE will chair the afternoon open forum, consisting of a discussion on education of the public in animal welfare issues.

An agenda and booking form can be found by contacting Deborah Gould at The College of Animal Welfare on 0844 372 9410.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Innovative Canine Health Project

Morris Animal Foundation Launches Innovative Canine Health Project
Veterinarians Invited to Participate in Largest and Longest Observational Study Ever Undertaken to Advance Veterinary Medicine
Morris Animal Foundation recently launched the Canine Lifetime Health Project, a groundbreaking effort to manage studies to identify new methods for the prevention and treatment of canine diseases. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, the first study under the project’s umbrella, will be the largest and longest observational study ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs. Dog owners will partner with their veterinarians to supply the necessary health information and samples needed for study participation.
Morris Animal Foundation will begin recruiting up to 3,000 highly committed Golden Retriever owners this spring. Golden Retrievers under 2 years of age will be observed for 10 to 14 years to identify genetic, environmental and nutritional risk factors for the development of cancer and other diseases.
Before study recruitment begins, Morris Animal Foundation invites veterinarians to register for the Canine Lifetime Health Project. By doing so, they will receive updates when the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study launches, notification of future studies and scientific updates as they become available. Veterinarians can also opt to be listed as a participating veterinarian in the study database for Golden Retriever owners searching for a local participating veterinarian.
If you would like additional information about this study, please visit the Morris Animal Foundation booth (No. 2328) at the Western Veterinary Conference, or if you would like a one-on-one interview, please email Nancy Clark, study participants coordinator, at

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

McDonalds to take action on pig farmers

McDonald’s said it will get its pork suppliers to phase out the use of immobilizing cages for pregnant pigs, a move that was applauded by the Humane Society of the United States, but not the pork industry.

McDonalds - Pork

Heather Bacon talks to the Vet Record about her career

Heather Bacon’s work focuses on addressing the causes of welfare issues and promoting animal welfare education.

Heather Bacon is the veterinary welfare and outreach manager at the Jeanne
Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education at the R(D)SVS, Edinburgh. Here she outlines the role of the new centre, and how she got involved in influencing welfare worldwide.
THE UK has robust legal protection for the welfare of animals, and, on gaining membership of the RCVS, vets declare that ‘My constant endeavour will be to ensure the welfare of animals committed to my care’. But how many of us are really engaged with the vast spectrum of welfare issues, and how quickly does routine work swamp our enthusiasm for a subject that is central to our role and function as vets?
There is certainly a desire within our profession for accessing further animal welfare educational material. A recent explosion in postgraduate courses in animal welfare and behaviour has sprung up, and, here at Edinburgh, up to one-third of the students studying for the Masters in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare are veterinary graduates,indicating that,at least in part,most veterinary undergraduate courses are not yet meeting the needs of the profession in terms of delivering animal welfare education.
At the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies,a generous grant from Madame Jeanne Marchig, a longstanding campaigner in the field of animal welfare,has supported the founding of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE). Madame Marchig recognised the deficiency in animal welfare education experienced by many veterinary graduates and, in partnership with the Edinburgh vet school, has developed the first centre in Europe to focus on international veterinary welfare education. The role of the centre is diverse, its vision committed to improving the quality of life for all animals through education and training and by influencing policy both in the UK and overseas.My own involvement with the new centre came about as a result of experiences gained working abroad. Working overseas in unfamiliar cultures and tackling language barriers can be challenging, but after graduating from the University of Bristol – and inspired by the animal welfare teaching provided by John Webster – I had a hankering to use my skills overseas.At university and after graduating I undertook projects with free-ranging wildlife and working equids in Rwanda,the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia,but my first taste of Asia came in 2007, when I arrived at the Animals Asia Foundation’s bear rescue centre in the Sichuan province of China.Founded by Jill Robinson MBE in 1998, the foundation is a charity that works with the governments of China, Hong Kong and Vietnam to end the trade in bear parts and the farming of bears for bile, to end the consumption of cats and dogs, and to improve captive wildlife welfare across Asia (
The charity’s approach is constructive and collaborative. Its bear rescue centres in China and Vietnam are large employers of local people,and its education programmes,
which are run in cities across China, aim to raise awareness of the countless welfare issues faced by animals in Asia. As the charity’s veterinary director, my
role involved working with Chinese and Vietnamese colleagues, as well as the western
veterinary team, to coordinate rescues of bears (in extreme physical and mental distress)from bear bile farms; partnering with local animal shelters to provide veterinary advice and support throughout the rescues of hundreds of dogs traded for meat by unlicensed traders; and dealing with the immediate human and animal welfare issues generated by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. This provided me with an opportunity to gain an insight into the diverse cultural,social and economic factors that may influence animal welfare practice and policy in an international context, as well as the work being done by veterinary associations within China to develop clinical skills training.
Additional stints working in India and Indonesia with the charities Wildlife SOS and International Animal Rescue further exposed me to the deficiencies in veterinary clinical skills and animal welfare education faced by vets across the globe. Increasingly aware that my work overseas involved ‘fire-fighting’ these deficiencies, I was excited to accept the opportunity to work at the JMICAWE, supported by the Animals Asia Foundation. My role involves working within the vet
school, in the EU,and in India and China,and provides me with a unique opportunity
to bridge the gap between academic expertise and grassroots charities working on
veterinary welfare issues, as well as forging academic partnerships and encouraging curriculum development at institutions in China and India. Working on issues including rabies control, street dog and feral cat management,clinical skills teaching, humane euthanasia,captive wildlife management and animal alternatives in veterinary education and research, the centre provides a holistic hub of
expertise on a number of welfare challenges regularly faced by vets in the UK and overseas,and supports sustainable education on the topics of animal welfare science, ethics and law.On a global level, awareness of animal welfare issues is increasing, and I’m excited to be working in a role where I can make a positive contribution to the abilities of the vets dealing with these issues.
Further information -

Further information on JMICAWE is available on Twitter (@JMICAWE)
Jeanne Marchig Centre

National Seminar on One Health Initiative in Addressing Food Safety Challenges

Professor Natalie Waran, and Ms Heather Bacon (MRCVS)of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies of The University of Edinburgh have prepared two videos for the National Seminar on One Health Initiative in Addressing Food Safety Challenges being held in Thrissur, Kerala.

One Health = One Welfare India Presentations