Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach

Last week saw JMICAWE staff participate in the third European workshop on "Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach". Whilst the meeting is focused primarily on the welfare of livestock species, due to lobbying by campaign groups, captive wildlife welfare sessions have also been included on the agenda. Co-ordinating the sessions on captive wildlife welfare, Heather works with groups with differing philosophies and approaches, to the issues of animal welfare in a zoo environment. Regardless of our own personal opinions on the role of the modern zoo, its undeniable that standards of animal welfare vary greatly from collection to collection, and only by discussing these issues in a constructive environment can we hope to improve this situation. We believe that it is only by engaging with all stakeholders that progress can be made and so this meeting brought together experts from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, The Born Free Foundation, DG Environment (responsible for the EU zoos directive), Chester Zoo and the Riga Zoo, to share experiences and discuss contentious issues with delegates from a range of backgrounds including government, policy, zoo and campaign groups. Topics covered included addressing deficiencies in knowledge and expertise amongst staff, issues of choice and control in animal management strategies, the hand-rearing of young animals and dealing with surplus stock in zoos.

This is the third European workshop with previous regional meetings held in Budapest and Barcelona, and more meetings coming up over the next few months.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Equine Welfare Scientists visit the Jeanne Marchig Centre

Earlier this week, we were pleased to welcome researchers in the field of equitation science to Edinburgh to spend the day testing and demonstrating the extremely sensitive technology associated with the measurement of different pressures (rider inputs) associated with equitation.
With the cooperation of colleagues from the Scottish National Equestrian Centre and Oatridge College, scientists from Anglia Ruskin University, Duchy College and Nottingham University were able to work together to develop measurement protocols to enable us to gain a better understanding of the complex interaction between horse and rider. The aim of the work is to use the information gained through these studies to improve the welfare of the horse when under saddle, in hand or driven.
For more information about equitation science go to www.equitationscience.com or follow ISES on Twitter @ISES2012

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Joining discussions on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme

Heather Bacon, JMICAWE's Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme last week, to discuss the current financial issues faced by many charities and organisations working in the animal welfare sector, in the current financial climate.
Because of the global economic crises, many organisations are facing problems in generating funds for essential animal welfare work, and this emphasises the need for all organisations working in animal welfare to work collaboratively and share resources and expertise.
Additionally the programme highlighted to all animal owners, that we all need to take responsibility for the welfare of the animals that we manage or pets that we own.

Listen to Farming Today - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qj8q.

Rescue attempt of whale on North Berwick beach

Last week, Heather Bacon, the JMICAWE's Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager, was called by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue to attend the stranding of a young minke whale washed up on the shore at North Berwick.
Battling 7 metre waves and driving hail, in freezing conditions, the Coastguard, East Lothian Ranger Service and the Police were already at the scene, along with BDMLR marine mammal medics, when Heather arrived with the BDMLR’s specially designed pontoons to aid in any re-floatation attempts. Sadly it quickly became clear that the young whale, at around 4 ½ metres long was not a candidate for re-floatation due to his own exhaustion and the extreme weather conditions.
Sourcing drugs for whale euthanasia is currently problematic due to restrictions on the specialist drugs needed for such large mammals, but with help from the R(D)SVS, appropriate medication was located.
Sadly the young whale died naturally just as vets were returning to the scene for euthanasia. A sad day for everyone involved but huge thanks to all who turned out to help in such terrible weather.
View - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-17596474

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

An easy and quick way to follow our activities on our blog - by receiving an email

We have been asked how you can access our JMICAWE blog without having to go into our website each day.

The answer is that there are 2 options:
a) Go to http://jmicaweactivities.blogspot.co.uk/ and click on 'join this site' through Google Friend Direct or 'Subscribe to Posts'.
b) The other option is to go through our website www.ed.ac.uk/vet/jmicawe and click on the left hand link 'follow our blog'. You can then click on the navy blue envelope link and enter your email address, so you will receive a prompt with a link to the most recent blog, through your email.

You only need to do one of the above steps once - and afterwards you can look forward to automatically receiving an email prompt informing you of the most recent blog, giving you updates of our activities.

International Society for Equitation Science to meet in Edinburgh in July this year.

Staff at the JMICAWE are delighted that over 100 abstracts have been submitted for consideration as spoken papers at the upcoming International Society for Equitation Science conference to be held at the vet school in July this year. Equitation Science is a relatively new area of study, and we are extremely pleased to be able to welcome ISES to the RDSVS.
ISES UK 2012 promises to be doubly special – firstly because the conference takes place in Olympic year in the UK – and also because it marks the tenth anniversary since Equitation Science was first recognised as a field of study.
The International Society for Equitation Science is a not-for-profit forum consisting of equine scientists, veterinarians, ethologists, trainers and behaviour specialists from around the world who share the view that human-related causes of undesirable equine behaviour are largely attributed to the current lack of science in equitation. Last year ISES council were pleased to partner with the Bartels family in the Netherlands, to run the ISES international conference alongside the Global Dressage Forum. This allowed ISES to have scientists and practitioners learning together about how science can be applied to practical contexts to ensure the welfare of the performance horse.
The next International Equitation Science Symposium will be held in Edinburgh on the 18th –20th July 2012. The theme is ‘The Road Ahead’ and this will allow equitation scientists to showcase and discuss the latest scientific advances for measuring the impact of the rider/driver and equipment on the horse's performance and welfare.
For more information about the conference visit: http://www.ises-uk2012.com/

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

'Animals in research - welfare, ethics and the law' Conference, June 2012

JMICAWE is extremely grateful to UFAW for supporting the upcoming conference on 'Animals in research - welfare, ethics and the law'.

The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) has generously provided funding to help run this exciting event in June this year. This unique conference sees JMICAWE collaborating with the University of Northumbria's Faculty of Law to run the first conference to bring together three interrelated strands: ethics, law and science in relation to the use of animals in research. The aim of the conference which will run on the 14th and 15th June at Northumbria University in Newcastle is to focus on the impact of the new EU directive on animal use and welfare. During the course of the two day conference we will bring together lawyers, ethicists, biomedical scientists, social scientists and veterinarians to discuss the ethical, legal and scientific issues raised by the new EU Directive (2010/63/EU) on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
The key objectives of the Conference are to:
1. Examine the ways in which the legislation is likely to impact mechanisms to support and further impel activities regarding the use of Alternatives in biomedical research and teaching;
2. Promote dialogue between lawyers, ethicists, biomedical scientists, social scientists and veterinarians regarding the ethical use of animals, and the extent to which welfare can be further improved;
3. Provide a platform for future collaborative and interdisciplinary research and teaching in this area.
To learn more about the conference and to register to attend go to: http://law.unn.ac.uk/animal_law