Monday, 18 August 2014

JMICAWE collaboration with World Animal Protection group working in Asia: World Animal Welfare’s Key Drivers in Asia Annual Meeting

As part of a JMICAWE collaboration with the World Animal Protection group working in Asia, our team member Dr Jill MacKay recently visited Taiwan as our representative to take part in World Animal Welfare’s Key Drivers in Asia annual meeting.  World Animal Protection brought together several important researchers and veterinarians throughout Asia to act as ‘Key Drivers’, promoting animal welfare and animal welfare education in veterinary schools and agricultural colleges throughout the continent.

Hosted in part through funds from the Taiwanese government, Jill spent five days discussing animal welfare assessment, advocacy and education. Her role as an invited speaker enabled her to discuss her work with JMICAWE and SRUC in production animal welfare assessment and how we utilise online environments in teaching and advocacy.  Three days were spent in Taipei and two days in Kaohsiung, incorporating practical visits to two Taiwanese dog shelters and a zoo to give the key drivers some experience with animal welfare assessment in a practical setting.
‘For me as a researcher familiar with EU rules and regulation on animal welfare, it was a fascinating opportunity to learn more about how welfare assessment can be conducted in different countries and cultures. We discussed at great length the kinds of welfare indicators that would be appropriate in the different parts of Asia, even continuing these debates on the bus ride down to Kaohsiung. This was a great opportunity to network and it was great to see so many ideas being exchanged.   I am quite frankly amazed at the amount of progress each key driver has made since last year. Animal welfare needs this passion and drive to move forwards internationally and I’m very proud to have been a part of that’ (Jill MacKay)

It was also interesting to see some of the innovations that different shelters had come up with. The dog shelter in Kaohsiung had developed a method of catching stray and feral dogs in groups, with minimal human contact and the demonstration was a good example of how local knowledge can help animal welfare.

Group Dog Trap

‘I was very pleased to see that all of the key drivers were keen to work more in advocacy and informal science training. During one of my workshops we developed some ideas for teaching children about animal welfare science, to encourage the next generation to incorporate animal welfare into their thinking. For me this was one of the most rewarding parts of the trip, as I am very passionate about science communication’ (Jill MacKay)

JMICAWE group advocacy  workshop in session
Kaohsiung Government Shelter Presentation

 Also discussed was World Animal Protection’s online education programs such as Animal Mosaic ( and Jill was also able to share the JMICAWE’s experience with their MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that had run for 5 weeks over the summer with 32,000 people signed up from across 160 countries. There was a common agreement that online education is taking off and the Animal Behaviour and Welfare MOOC was a great example of how these courses can reach huge audiences and convey important science education.

Jill added that ‘Overall I would like to thank our generous host, Ms Liu, World Animal Protection and the key drivers for their kind reception and making me feel very welcome in Taiwan. I had a wonderful time and I’m already looking forward to finding out what they get up to in the next twelve months’
Government Shelter in Taipei - example of a good cat room
Taiwan Government Shelter dog



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