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”

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