Tuesday, 31 March 2015

JMICAWE Spring 2015 Newsletter Now Available!

We are excited to announce that The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education's Spring 2015 Newsletter is available NOW!

It provides a summary of some of the highlights of our activities since Autumn last year and can be viewed by clicking on the link below. We hope that you enjoy it and that it is of interest to you!

If you wish to know more about our activities, please feel free to follow us @JMICAWE on Twitter and also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JMICAWE.

If you would like to join our mailing list to receive our newsletters by e-mail, please send an email to jm.welfare@ed.ac.uk with the subject as 'Join Mailing List'.

Don't forget to watch our fantastic short film, 'Street Dog', available by clicking the link below:


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Vet Students Choosing Welfare

A group of final year veterinary students at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies spent three weeks of March partaking in the CEVA Animal Behaviour and Welfare elective run by the JMICAWE team. In their final year of study, the students get to choose electives which specialise in certain areas relating to veterinary medicine, and we were thrilled that our group chose to learn more about Animal Welfare and Behaviour over the other topics on offer to them.
The elective was a mixture of taught and practical studies, including guest speakers from animal health company CEVA (who very kindly sponsored the course) and pet behaviour specialist Positive Imprint. The students took classes on pain and animal behaviour, pharmacotherapeutics, the animal ethics dilemma, the use of an interactive rat as opposed to a live one in a laboratory and a wide range of other modules covering different species of animal and different behaviour and welfare issues.
A number of day trips were also included in the elective to allow students to see the application of the animal behaviour and welfare topics being discussed; they were able to assess the behaviour of cats and dogs in a shelter, explore the welfare of animals at Edinburgh Zoo and research the welfare of farm animals.
The students responded very well to the course, engaging with all aspects and topics, and here are some of their thoughts…
“On practical veterinary sessions, there have been questions asked by clients that I couldn’t answer as I didn’t know very much about behavioural problems and how to deal with them. I now feel in a much better position to do so!”
“The course has really changed the way I think about an animal, especially when it comes to assessing pain”
“It’s only one step to recognise behavioural or welfare problems an animal is experiencing: it’s something else to actually treat those”
“I really enjoyed learning about new research that challenges concepts that have been taught as fact for the last fifty years”

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

JMICAWE Help to Promote Scientific Approach to Dog Population Management

Last week’s conference on Dog Population management was a great success for the team at the JMICAWE. As well as successful presentations by Heather Bacon of the JMICAWE and Lindsey Hartley-Backhouse, MSc student on the International Animal Welfare, ethics and Law programme, we were also pleased to see the launch of the new guide to assessment of success in dog population management interventions: “Are we making a difference? A guide to monitoring and evaluating dog population management interventions”

The guide, authored by Dr Elly Hiby, Scientific coordinator of the International Companion Animal Management Coalition (ICAM), was developed with input from staff at the JMICAWE and SRuC, and is a comprehensive guide to evaluating success in terms of dog population measurements, dog welfare and human-animal relationships.


You can download it from the 'downloads' tab on the ICAM Co website. ICAM have also made a tool to help people navigate the document and create their owned tailored version - this is still a protype and is being updated, but once fully functional, looks to be very useful.

With dog populations a global concern in terms of environmental and zoonotic disease issues, evidence-based approaches to dog management are an essential new area of research. By promoting a scientific approach to what has traditionally been seen merely as ‘spay-neuter or ‘trap-neuter-return’ we can utilise a considerable variety of different and holistic strategies, and manage dog populations with more successful and humane outcomes.

If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t forget to watch our fantastic short film, ‘Street Dog’ which looks at the welfare of those dogs involved in ‘trap-neuter-return’ programs, and can be found on youtube here;

Don't forget to let us know what you think, by commenting on the video or on our Facebook or twitter pages!
FB:              www.facebook.com/JMICAWE

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Street Dog – Edinburgh contributes to Animal Welfare and Dog Population Management

You may remember from a previous blog(http://jmicaweactivities.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/jmicawe-improving-dog-welfare-through.html) that Hayley Walters and Heather Bacon from JMICAWE have recently been involved in a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programme for street or ‘community’ dogs.

This week Heather is attending the 2nd International Conference on Dog Population Management to present new research on the welfare assessment of dogs in spay-neuter programmes. The research has highlighted that to adequately assess welfare it is essential that staff involved in spay-neuter programmes are well-trained in recognising dog behaviours – especially pain behaviours which may be common even when analgesics are used.

Some of the challenges faced by dogs on the street and the work done by those involved in TNR programmes are highlighted in the fantastic new JMICAWE short film, ‘Street Dog’, which can be viewed by clicking on the link below;

Two of our Online MSc International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law students are also attending the conference: Lindsay Hartley-Backhouse and Barbara Lautenbach. Lindsay is presenting at the conference, using her experience gained through the MSc programme to share her experiences on her educational work on combating myths surrounding rabies in Thailand. Both Lindsay and Barbara hope to further expand their experiences in the area of dog population management through their MSc dissertation projects.

Please share our ‘Street Dog’ film and help us to spread the word about the welfare of companion animals living on the streets- and of course, let us know what you think!
Twitter -  @JMICAWE

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Truth about Cats and Dogs – ‘Street Dog’ and our MOOC!

Last week, week three of our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Animal Behaviour and Welfare discussed some of the welfare challenges that our companion animals face, and what we can do to improve their quality of life.

Those who are currently enrolled in the programme have added a further 20,000 + students to the 34,000 that took part in the MOOC last summer, thus creating a huge online community spanning 160 countries to learn about and discuss animal welfare. If you want to join, it’s not too late – sign up here!

In ‘The Truth about Cats and Dogs’, JMICAWE’s Hayley talked us through how we can better understand the physical and emotional needs of our cats and dogs and how these are influenced by the way we choose to care for them. The course also looked at the increase in issues with stray, abandoned and cruelly treated animals, and how the way we manage these issues can affect not only the welfare of the individual animal but its relationship with human society.


In the MOOC this week we will be discussing production animal welfare- entitled ‘Down on the Farm’, with Fritha. We hope to see you there, and as always please feel free to get in touch on social media whilst you’re taking part in the course on-


Twitter - @JMICAWE using #EdAniWelf and #animalwelfare