Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Excellence in Animal Welfare teaching recognised by students at Edinburgh

The animal welfare team at Edinburgh has been involved with the design and delivery of innovative animal welfare education since 1990 when the Masters in Applied animal behaviour and welfare (MSc AABAW) was launched under the directorship of JMICAWE’s director, Professor Natalie Waran.
Since then the team have developed a variety of successful animal welfare taught programmes with the most recent being the PG Masters in International animal welfare, ethics and law, delivered on-line (MSc IAWEL) under the directorship of Dr Fritha Langford.

In 2007, Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) launched the EUSA Teaching Awards to recognise excellence in teaching, student support and the use of imaginative delivery methods. The Teaching Awards are entirely student-led, with students nominating online and a representative panel of students deciding who will win the final awards.

We are extremely proud to announce that Fritha, our inaugural Programme Director for the extremely popular MSc IAWEL has been nominated for the following awards:

1.    Teaching with Technology –in recognition for the excellent online teaching she has given, as well as acknowledging the easy to follow layout of the online platform and the excellent quality of content for this ODL programme.
And the
2.    College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Award –in recognition for the good teaching at Edinburgh University, through teaching animal welfare on the on-campus MSc AABAW and the online MSc IAWEL.

Congratulations Fritha on receiving both these nominations, and fingers crossed that you are short listed as a winner at the Ceremony on the 3rd April 2013.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Dr James Yeates giving a talk at the Dick Vet

Dr James Yeates will present his talk on Thurs 31 January,
LT1 @ 5.15pm
Title: Ethics and Clinical Decision-Making
"Good clinical decision-making is central to being a good vet. This requires not only enough medical knowledge, but also accurate welfare assessment and sound ethical reasoning. Best practice (as described in textbooks) can take us so far, but not many cases allow such "best practice" (especially as a RSPCA vet).
This talk takes us through steps in ethical decision-making of real cases, with chances to practice decision-making in real life situations (with no fear of embarrassment)"
James Yeates BSc BVSc DWEL DipECVS(AWBM) PhD MRCVS is Chief Veterinary Officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (UK) and Honorary Lecturer at the University of Bristol (UK). James is Chair of the British Veterinary Association Ethics and Welfare Group and is a member of the BVA Council, the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association Committee, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee and the International Fund for Cat Welfare Committee 
He has previously been Honorary Secretary for the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons, a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and the BSAVA Petsavers clinical scholar in animal welfare ethics and law at the University of Bristol. James has a Bachelors of Veterinary Science, a Bachelors in Bioethics, a RCVS Certificate and Diploma in animal welfare science, ethics and law and a PhD in veterinary ethics. He is a Diplomate of the RCVS and European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine. James edits the AWSELVA Journal of Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law, and has published on topics such as veterinary decision-making, euthanasia, animal welfare values, companion animal welfare, stem cells and medical authority, including a forthcoming book on Achieving Animal Welfare in Veterinary Practice (Wiley-Blackwell)


Providing surgical training and animal welfare education in Sarajevo

With recent research producing a count of around 11,000 stray dogs on the streets of Sarajevo, there is a need for humane and effective measures for controlling the dog population. Therefore on the 3rd February 2013,  our vet nurse Hayley Walters will be flying out to Sarajevo in Bosnia to assist UK charity the Dogs Trust with a surgical training course to Bosnian vets.
The course will run for a week and dogs from the streets of Sarajevo will be caught, neutered, vaccinated, ear tagged and then released back onto the streets once they have fully recovered.
The Dogs Trust is keen to up skill the vets currently working in Bosnia and to promote neutering as a means of humane population control. Local authority training, education in schools, public education and subsidised neutering for pet owners are also part of their multi-pronged approach to good pet ownership.
Having been involved in several overseas neutering projects already, Hayley was very pleased to be asked by the Dogs Trust to help out. “Research has shown that mass culls of street dog populations are not only inhumane but also don’t work. New dogs just move into the newly vacated area and the problem starts all over again. Mass neutering and vaccinating campaigns result in a healthier and more manageable sized dog population so to do this, AND up skill local vets to carry on the good work at the same time, is a win-win situation for everyone”.
Hayley will use her previous experiences to ensure that each dog’s welfare comes first in the training of the vets and hopes that JMICAWE and the Dogs Trust will collaborate again on future projects.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Animal welfare is high on the agenda for JMICAWE partners, at KVASU

Animal Welfare is high on the agenda for JMICAWE partners, Kerala veterinary and animal science University
Animal welfare has become a hot topic for vets, following the successful second of three British council funded animal welfare workshops for the veterinary faculty staff at the KVASU and run by the JMICAWE.
To demonstrate their commitment to and engagement with, further training and awareness in animal welfare, the KVASU has launched an animal welfare section to their University website. The plan is to develop this as an important resource to help staff and students have easy access up to date information about animal welfare issues, teaching resources and up to date research. http://kvasu.ac.in/animal-welfare-news .
Animal welfare is increasingly being internationally recognised as an essential component of the veterinary curriculum – and Indian veterinary schools are required to deliver animal welfare and ethics training as part of their teaching. With this new development, KVASU hope to lead the way in demonstrating how animal welfare science can be effectively embedded using a problem based approach for delivering relevant content.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Animal Welfare in Severe Weather conditions

The Met Office warns that parts of Britain are likely to shiver with temperatures remaining below zero today, while blizzards and snow topping 25cm (nearly 10in) over higher ground are expected to cause severe disruption on Friday 18 January.
During severe weather, although priority will be given to human needs, the welfare of animals is also important. DEFRA has provided general advice on keeping a variety of animals safe:
Advice to Farmers
During periods of bad weather farmers will already be working to ensure livestock is protected from the severe weather and that food and water is available. Farmers will be best placed to identify and source feed and water for their animals, for example by co-operating with neighbours if supplies run short or access is difficult.
It is important to ensure that where animals are kept outside drinking water troughs etc. are kept free of ice and that if pipes and other water supply fittings are blocked water is taken to the animals regularly.
Advice to pet and horse owners
Where pets (such as rabbits and guinea pigs) are normally kept outside in hutches during mild winters, owners should consider moving them into garages/sheds to provide additional thermal insulation. Where cages cannot be moved additional protection or insulation should be provided wherever possible. It is also important to ensure a supply of drinking water. Ice should be cleared from drinking water containers and the spouts should be defrosted regularly.
As with farmed livestock, horses and ponies usually kept outside during the winter should have access to shelter at all times and a regular provision of feed and water ensured. Where such provision is inadequate, owners should consider moving the animals and/or permanently stabling in the interim period. Water supplies for all horses and ponies should be checked regularly and alternatives sources supplied if mains failure occurs.
Live animal transport
Transporters are required by law not to transport animals in a way that is likely to cause injury or undue suffering. So in cold conditions transporters must check their intended route is safe and clear before any journey commences. If journeys do commence then drivers should have contingency plans to care for the animals in case of any problems encountered.

Sources of help and advice

  • RSPCA can be contacted by calling – Telephone 0300 1234 999.
  • NFU Members – Telephone 0870 845 8458

    Photograph: Graham Lawrence/Demotix/Corbis

    Tuesday, 15 January 2013

    Prestigious award for Professor Brian Perry

    The University of Edinburgh’s Honorary Professor Brian Perry has won the 2012 Trevor Blackburn Award in recognition of his contributions to animal health and welfare.
    Professor Perry (BVMS 1969, MSc 1975) is an international consultant specialising in livestock health and broader agricultural development issues in countries of the developing world.
    For 20 years he led multidisciplinary programmes at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford, an Honorary Professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and a prolific author of scientific books.
    The award honours Professor Perry’s personal commitment to poverty alleviation by tackling diseases of global significance.
    In accepting the accolade, he thanked the British Veterinary Association, which made the award, for its “recognition of British veterinary contributions to sustainable and inclusive economic development in emergent nations of the world.”
    For more information, please visit :

    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Anaethesia team help ease European Brown Bear's pain

    R (D)SVS’s vet nurse Hayley Walters visited a very special patient at Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee, on the 20th December 2012. Star, a European Brown Bear, required root canal work to be done to one of her canine teeth. Veterinary dentist specialist Norman Johnson was called in to perform the dental work and it was The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine anaesthesia department who were asked to keep the bear unconscious for the procedure. New anaesthesia resident Karla Borland and Hayley rose to the challenge and Star remained completely unaware of everything happening to her during the 90 minute procedure.
    Since Hayley worked with Moon Bears in China for over 3 years, she was asked to assist  and was more than happy to be involved in the case. She used the opportunity to brush up on her field anaesthesia skills which she uses when teaching animal welfare to vet students overseas. Hayley said, “In 2013 JMICAWE are planning several neutering workshops in Asia and we can never expect to have full veterinary hospital facilities. Field anaesthesia is always a little more stressful and challenging and it is important that we are comfortable and as prepared as possible in these situations before we actually try to go and teach in them.”
    Star recovered quickly after her anaesthetic and her mate Comet, who was concerned but lightly sedated in the neighbouring den as the procedure went on, were reunited later that day.

    Monday, 7 January 2013

    The Year Ahead

    Welcome back everyone after a well deserved Christmas break! The team here at JMICAWE has lots to look forward to and many exciting activities planned for the New Year!

    We'll soon be delivering our 3rd Animal Welfare Science training workshop in India, in partnership with the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Kerala, and have a number of events planned in China also. We'll also be expanding our horizons, hoping to deliver animal welfare education and veterinary training alongside some new partners in countries where we've not worked before and are very excited about broadening our impact.

    As always our message will be that of improving the lives of all animals through education and collaboration, training experts in animal welfare and raising the standards of animal welfare wherever we go.

    Happy New Year!