Tuesday, 26 November 2013

'Farmed Salmon – Scotland’s largest agricultural export. But what about their welfare?'

Prof Jimmy Turnbull gave an excellent seminar here at the Vet School recently.   His talk was entitled 'Farmed Salmon – Scotland’s largest agricultural export.  But what about their welfare?'.   Jimmy gave us an overview of the Salmon Industry within Scotland including the production and management systems used, the training of staff in animal welfare, environmental and predation issues and welfare accreditation schemes within the industry. 

He then moved on to discuss many of the welfare issues that are of concern within the industry such as the effects of repeated handling, conspecific aggression, crowding, feeding methods and feed restriction, as well as issues related to disease and at the time of slaughter.  He presented scientific findings in relation to these welfare issues such as whether salmon show preference for shade, and the finding that crowding and feed restriction can lead to increased conspecific aggression.  We also talked about the importance of temperature gradients within the environment in enabling fish to cope better with disease challenges.

Although in animal welfare research, animal based measures are normally recorded at the individual level, we spent quite a bit of time discussing the difficulties of this approach in fish, and that in fish it is more practical to record welfare outcomes at the population level. 

Overall there are lots of challenges facing us in terms of fish welfare – how do we assess preference in fish?, can we measure fish welfare at the individual level?, can we develop robust fish welfare assessment tools?  Lots of food for thought.

The seminar attracted many undergraduate vet students, our MSc students, staff and even those from the Scottish Government.

Many thanks to Jimmy for a stimulating presentation

Monday, 18 November 2013

18th CVA Asian Regional Meeting and UoE Conference - Feb.2014

18th CVA Asian Regional Meeting and Conference ,Bangalore India.

The Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) in association with The University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, will be hosting the 18th CVA Asian Regional Meeting and Conference on 20 – 24 February 2014, in the NIANP Auditorium, Adugodi, Bangalore, India.

Both Professor Nat Waran and Heather Bacon from the JMICAWE will be presenting at the conference, where a variety of speakers will be covering topics on “Advances in Veterinary Research: Impact and Opportunities”.

Friday, 8 November 2013

4th China Veterinary Conference Champions Animal Welfare

4th China Veterinary Conference Champions Animal Welfare

 Last week the JMICAWE team headed for China once more to support the Animal Welfare session a t the 4th China Veterinary Conference. Accompanied by international colleagues, we shared a range of practical and research experiences relating to both the development of animal welfare in veterinary education and practice and, the influence of evidence-based research on livestock husbandry, transport and food safety, an issue that is currently of enormous importance in China. The conference was supported by the Animals Asia Foundation and WSPA, and attended by colleagues from the SRUC, the World Veterinary Association, the Federation of Vets of Europe, and the OIE.

 By linking Animal Welfare to its practical benefits, such as improved health, improved productivity,  improved food safety and improved research and education outcomes, even those with little interest in the subject may be inspired to develop better practices that benefit animals around China. But that is not to say that there is no interest in developing better practises simply for the sake of the animals – the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has recently been working with the Ministry of Education to integrate Animal Welfare into the National Veterinary Exam – making it a core subject for all veterinarians in China.

 Over the next year the JMICAWE will be working with the CVMA to develop successful teaching practises and integrate animal welfare throughout the Chinese Veterinary curriculum.



Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Animal Welfare reaches wider audience at Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University Student Zoological Society (EUSZS) monthly presentations

Heather Bacon and Hayley Walters from the JMICAWE have been working with the Edinburgh University Student Zoological Society to spread the word of the JMICAWE and its partners in improving animal welfare around the world.

Last month Hayley presented on Animal Welfare issues in China, highlighting the trade and farming of endangered wildlife, particularly Asiatic black or ‘moon’ bears, caged for years to provide bile for use in Traditional Medicine.

This week (6/11/2013) Heather will present on the range of welfare issues faced by zoos around the world, highlighting the limitations that zoo animals may face in terms of their welfare but also discussing practical solutions that may be implemented to improve zoo animal welfare.

Presentations take place as part of the programme organised by the Edinburgh Zoological Society on Wednesday Evenings at 7pm at lecture theatre 270, Old College, University of Edinburgh.

More information on the EUSZS, which is a  brand new society for all those students and non-students of Edinburgh with a passion for animals, can be found at http://www.zoosoc.com or email at edzoosoc@gmail.com.



Monday, 4 November 2013

Veterinary Technician training in Bosnia

Our welfare veterinary nurse, Hayley Walters, has just returned from a veterinary technician training neutering workshop in Sarajevo Veterinary Faculty in Bosnia. This is the third time Dogs Trust UK have ‘borrowed’ Hayley to assist in their Dogs Trust BH neutering training workshops but it is the first one she has been involved in that was specifically aimed at vet techs.

Dogs Trust have now completed their sixth week long neutering workshops aimed at up-skilling local Bosnian vets in anaesthesia, analgesia and surgical sterilisation  and they are now well underway to neutering and rabies vaccinating some of the 13,000 dogs living on the streets of Sarajevo.

The aim was to up-skill local vet techs to assist those vets who have already completed the Dogs Trust neutering workshop and are now taking part in the mass sterilisation programme. To date over 3,000 dogs have been neutered and returned to the streets but the need for well-trained vet techs became obvious early into the vet training programmes.

Hayley’s role was to teach the delegates the principles of anaesthesia, analgesia, preparation and care of the surgical patient, welfare, care of the hospitalised patient, and care of surgical equipment. It was a very busy week and Hayley was the only international member on the team.

Videos of how to intubate a dog and how to place an intravenous catheter and lectures in all of the most important aspects of surgery were given prior to any practical work taking place. The vet techs then practised intravenous catheter placement skills on a mock vein board which meant that they had their skills perfected before it came to actually doing it on the street dogs that needed to be neutered, and therefore no dogs suffered in the name of training.

“The vet tech delegates were fabulous and very keen to learn and improve their skills in the placing IV catheters, intubation, giving intra-muscular injections, surgical preparation and monitoring anaesthesia,” said Hayley.

She also added, “At JMICAWE we believe that neutering projects must never be viewed as a numbers game. Each of these dogs is a sentient being, with the ability to suffer if anaesthesia is inadequately practiced and welfare is negatively affected by poor management and a lack of knowledge or experience. Whilst population management is hugely important, it is vital that neutering projects focus on the individual’s welfare, and not just the removal of its reproductive organs”.