Wednesday, 30 December 2015

MSc (Clinical Management of Pain) - Free places for online CPD!

MSc (Clinical Management of Pain)

*** Limited numbers of places for free online CPD ***

A new module in the MSc (Clinical Management of Pain) programme is offered for the first time in 2016, “Veterinary Musculoskeletal Pain: Small Animals”. Now in its tenth year, the online programme is provided on the University of Edinburgh’s well-proven and intuitive platform. Three UK-based vets, who graduated with the MSc in 2014, wrote about their reflections on the programme.


1.    Veterinary Musculoskeletal pain: Small animals” module has been approved for the MSc (Clin. Mgmt. Pain) programme (20 credits).

2.    The module can also be studied as part of Personal Professional Development (PPD). PPD students will also be awarded 20 credits at Masters level, which may be transferrable to another programme.

3.    As this is a new module, we want to obtain some feedback from participants who have an interest in pain management. To meet this need we are offering a limited number of free places to study the module, with the usual fees waived. The University of Edinburgh will issue a certificate for 200hrs CPD to participants, upon successful completion of the module.


The “Veterinary Musculoskeletal Pain: Small Animals” module runs for 15 weeks, from 25th January to 22nd May incl., with a two week break 4th April to 17th April incl.


At the end of the module participants are expected to better understand:

·         The epidemiology of musculoskeletal pain.

·         The critical appraisal of preclinical and clinical evidence relating to musculoskeletal pain.

·         The proposed pathophysiology and pain-generating mechanisms in musculoskeletal diseases affecting dogs and cats.

·         The influence of bio-behavioural contributors to animals’ pain experiences.

·         The critical appraisal and use of validated pain assessment tools.

·         The role of comorbidities in complicating therapeutic management.

·         The pharmacology of pain-relieving drugs and their implementation in a rational, multimodal approach to musculoskeletal pain management.

·         Ethical considerations when offering palliative care.

For further information, or to register your interest in one of the limited number of places for free CPD please contact Fergus Coutts BVM&S MSc MRCVS: (Closing date 11th January 2016).

Monday, 28 December 2015

Launch of the new MSc/Dip/Cert in Clinical Animal Behaviour

We are really pleased to announce the launch of this new MSc/Dip/Cert course via online distance learning, starting in September 2016.

For further information, please visit

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Send a Vet Nurse to India update

Send a Vet Nurse to India

This month sees the return of the JMICAWE team from India where we’ve been hard at work to introduce the veterinary nursing profession to Indian vets.  JMICAWE veterinary nurse Hayley Walters, supported by veterinary surgeon Heather Bacon also of the JMICAWE and Edinburgh Napier University’s Andrew Coe and Karen Hibell,  led a team of 8 3rd year student veterinary nurses to demonstrate the essential role of veterinary nursing within the veterinary profession. 

The ‘Send a Vet Nurse to India’ project was a collaboration between the JMICAWE, Kerala Veterinary Animal Sciences University (KVASU) and Edinburgh Napier University. The project involved fully integrating the student vet nurse team into the two veterinary teaching hospitals in Kerala and demonstrating the invaluable support a well-trained VN has to offer to vet in India, in not only improving animal welfare but also the smooth running of a hospital.

The students VNs were professional, hardworking, compassionate and despite being students themselves, developed the confidence to teach and explain to the vet students there what they were doing and why. The project gave student VNs a genuine insight into the challenges of working in a developing country and inspired them to develop practical solutions to dealing with the problems they faced.

Hayley said, “India has a few challenges when it comes to the veterinary profession: 1) they have a huge shortage of veterinarians. Last estimate revealed a shortfall of over 62,000 and 2) they don’t have trained, qualified veterinary nurses to provide the supportive care needed to ensure a high level of patient care. Many of the teaching hospitals have state of the art, expensive equipment in their operating theatres but no beds to recover their patients on and no staff dedicated to their daily needs”. 

Currently in India, trained veterinary surgeons are responsible for all veterinary duties, from basic techniques such as blood sampling or bandaging, to complex surgical procedures. The vast scope of this workload is a challenge to the development of the profession, as excessive time is taken up with minor procedures, basic animal management, and logistics such as stock control, which would, in other parts of the world, normally be the responsibility of the veterinary nurse.

The 8 student VNs fully immersed themselves in all aspects of hospital work including the inpatient area, anaesthetic monitoring, surgical patient preparation, handling, cleaning and physiotherapy. The afternoons were spent delivering workshops to students and faculty members, clinical skills practise on models and manikins and protocol writing to improve patient care and the running of the hospital.

KVASU were so impressed with what the vet nurses had to offer that all faculty members unanimously agreed to endorse a VN training programme and qualification. Building on this success Prof Nat Waran, who was also in India, met with the Indian Veterinary Council to discuss both veterinary and veterinary nursing education, and to propose the endorsement of a veterinary nursing training programme in India. Hayley has just finished writing a proposal and VN curriculum for the Veterinary Council of India and we hope to see India’s first ever Veterinary Nurse Training Curriculum and Associated Diploma Level Qualification very soon.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year - our festive round robin

We wish you a peaceful and restful

Christmas and New Year period,

wherever you are in the world


As we come to the close of 2015, we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for all that you do to further animal welfare in your work. Without the support and collaboration of people like you, our team would not have been able to achieve what we have over the past year, and certainly the future of animal welfare would not have moved forward as it has.  Highlights of our year include a variety of different animal welfare education activities around the world:

*        The success of the ‘Vet Nurse to India’ project, as well as collaborating with the Indian Government to run a production animal health and welfare workshop for veterinarians and researchers working in Animal Science and Veterinary medicine; 

*        A working visit to Edinburgh by the Deans and representatives from Chinese veterinary schools to learn about international standards, innovation in veterinary teaching, integration of animal welfare and best practice animal care;

*        A Chile Dogs and Society Workshop in collaboration with Chilean veterinary schools to discuss issues of managing dog populations;

*        The success of our free online course (MOOC) in animal welfare, attracting more than 70,000 people from 167 countries and leading to publications and webinars to show how successful this has been for up-skilling people around the world in animal welfare;

*        The making of the  ’Street Dog’ short video in India and its dissemination through Youtube, watched by 30,000+ worldwide and its uptake by Governments, including supporting the US Government’s Anti-Rabies campaign;
*        The graduation of our first ‘online’ Masters students in Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law and an increase in our Animal Welfare Masters community to more than 150 each year;

*    The development of a protocol to audit the welfare of street dogs in trap-neuter-return Programmes, enabling projects to monitor their own welfare standards, and to apply practical solutions to welfare problems that are detected. More info at 
*       Collaboration on the publication of two in-depth resources to improve animal welfare in zoos.  1: The World Association for Zoos and Aquaria’s ‘Animal Welfare Strategy’, and 2: The European Commission’s ‘Good practice guide for implementation of the EU zoos directive’. Both documents contain extensive practical information to support improvements in zoo animal welfare;
*        The delivery of animal welfare education to multiple partners around the world including in China, Vietnam, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Poland, Turkey, and Portugal.

Finally,  we are extremely grateful to the Marchig Trust for providing the funding that supports the Centre’s work as an integrated unit within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and for their continued faith in us by agreeing to provide us with continued funding to support our work over the next five years.

With best wishes and many thanks to you all,

from Prof Nat Waran and the team at the

Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education



Monday, 21 December 2015

Fermented Mare's Milk and Donkey Soup in Inner Mongolia


Just a couple of the unusual food choices found on the menu in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia!
Sampling some of the more interesting things that Mongolian food has to offer was just a part of the recent visit to the Inner Mongolian Agricultural University by Prof Cathy Dwyer, team leader in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at SRUC and Gemma Pearson, clinical behaviour resident at the Equine Practice, R(D)SVS. Cathy and Gemma spent two weeks in Hohhot as guests of the Agricultural University to give lectures on sheep and horse behaviour and welfare to students and industry. The trip provided a fascinating insight into the very modern (large scale industrialised dairy and sheep units managing thousands of animals) and the ancient (Buddhist temples and nomadic herdsman taking their animals out to graze on the Steppes) co-existing in China today.

Cathy Dwyer, second from left

The Chinese veterinary and agriculture students were interested in animal behaviour and welfare, and keen to discuss concepts and to be able to access other information or to attend Masters courses outside China. Animal welfare has only really be considered a subject in China for the last 10 years, and there is still some confusion over what it is and whether it is a subject of importance to agriculture. Sheep industry representatives, however, were of the belief that improving welfare would be important for the improvement in their profits. The manager of the Sino- sheep breeding farm was particularly taken by the fact that Cathy arrived in her farm boots and headed off to see the animals rather than spend the time sitting in the office drinking tea – the difference between UK and Chinese researchers he suggested!
Visits to the Technical University horse farm also revealed opportunities to help with education and training of students as the leisure horse industry is exploding in China. Mongolia has its own very special breed of hardy horses and a very old tradition of horsemanship. The horse is everywhere in Mongolia: from the horse-head guitars, statues of Genghis Khan to decorations in restaurants and homes. Scientists at the Agricultural University discussed plans to develop a stud book and preserve the unique character of this ancient breed, and the opportunity to provide a role for the horse for the Mongolian farmers was suggested through equine tourism – watch this space!      
This initial visit was characterised by cultural events, visits to important religious and cultural sites as well as academic activities. There are many opportunities for joint research and education activities with the University and hopefully this is just the start of many more visits and interactions between SRUC, University of Edinburgh and Inner Mongolia.  

Friday, 18 December 2015

CEVA Awards for Animal Welfare - nominations open

Now in its fifth year, the Ceva Awards for Animal Welfare recognises volunteers, charity workers ,and veterinary professionals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to supporting and improving animal welfare around the world.

The two main veterinary categories are the Chris Laurence Vet of the Year and Welfare Nurse of the Year. Last year's Welfare Nurse of the Year was won by Hayley Walters of the JMICAWE.

Whilst both of these categories are open to large animal veterinary professionals, the addition of the Farm Animal Welfare Award allows specific recognition for people that work within the farming industry and strive to encourage high standards of ethical and compassionate farm animal welfare.
Anyone who knows of a veterinary professional, individual or team who goes that extra mile for animals is encouraged to nominate at

The Award categories are:

Chris Laurence Vet of the Year Award ( Sponsored by Vet Times)

Welfare Nurse of the Year Award ( Sponsored by VN Times)

Charity Professional of the Year Award

Charity Volunteer of the Year
Farm Animal Welfare Award ( Sponsored by NADIS and R.A.B.I)

Charity Welfare Team Award Sponsored by

 International Cat Care Welfare Award

Deadline for nominations is January 11th 2016

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Visitors from Indonesia

On Monday, we welcomed three academics from Universitas Nasional in Jakarta to the Vet School to discuss future possible collaboration on postgraduate research.  Dr Jito, Ms Inez and Dr Praptiwi had discussions with our animal welfare team about joint projects in the future.  We hope to conclude an MOU with UNAS in due course to support our students going to Indonesia who need an Academic Counterpart.
Here is Nat Waran with the delegation at the conclusion of the talks. They were then shown round the Hospital for Small Animals by Hayley Walters as part of their visit.  They pointed out some marked differences between our approach and theirs to post-op recovery, especially feeding and bedding.  Our thanks to Rio Setiawan, a current postgrad vet student at the Dick Vet, for facilitating during the visit and look forward to working with them in the future.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Our staff speaking at the recent BHS Conference on Horse and Rider Safety & Welfare

Follow the link below to hear Nat and Gemma speak about horse and rider safety and welfare at the recent BHS Conference in Birmingham

Misbehaving or misunderstood?

Monday, 14 December 2015

FREE THE BEARS - Founder Mary Hutton wins prestigious Jeanne Marchig Trust Award 2015

A press release from a fellow animal welfare organisation we work with regularly...
Mary Hutton Recipient of the Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award 2015
In more than 20 years since Free the Bears was established by Perth grandmother Mary Hutton, there have been very few moments where the focus has been away from our precious bears. But today there is a spotlight shining brightly on the greatest hero in this story, our dedicated Founder Mary Hutton. And we are besides ourselves to share such exciting news!
JMARCHIG2This week we were informed that Mary has been declared the winner of the prestigious Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award 2015.  This award by the UK-based Marchig Animal Welfare Trust recognises individuals working in the field of animal welfare resulting in significant improvements for animals either nationally or internationally. The award was established in 1989 by Madame Jeanne Marchig of Geneva (pictured left), who personally had a deep concern for nature and animals. The objects of the Trust are to protect animals and to promote and encourage practical work in preventing animal cruelty and the relief of animal suffering.
In announcing the 2015 winner of the award, Chairman of the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, Les Ward, describes Mary as a standout choice on behalf of their board of Trustees.
“There was a large volume of nominations from all over the world, with many worthy candidates. However, in the end it was a unanimous decision that Mary Hutton receive this year’s award. Through Mary’s voluntary leadership, Free the Bears has grown into one of the world’s most effective international bear rescue organisations. Mary’s journey with Free the Bears is an inspirational one, built from the start and throughout on compassion, hard work, sheer determination, tireless dedication and a genuine desire to bring about change for suffering bears around the world.  The Trustees believe that her journey will inspire others harbouring similar desires to effect change.  Both Mary and her organisation Free the Bears are worthy recipients of this award and the Trustees send them our sincere congratulations, as well as our grateful thanks for all they have done and continue to do for the animals.”
Normally working behind the scenes from her home office in Perth, Mary rarely accepts credit for her work alone without giving recognition to the support of her dedicated Free the Bears team. Mary has described it as an honor for her team to receive such a prestigious award for animal welfare.
“How privileged I feel to receive recognition for such an admired award all over the world on behalf of our organization. I’d like to personally thank everybody at the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust for acknowledging our work in such a marvelous way. I sincerely hope that in accepting this award it inspires more people to act on behalf of our beautiful animals. I feel lucky to be recognized amongst many others who have made a difference to preserve and enrich the lives of animals throughout the world. That is just such a great thing to be acknowledged for.”
The award takes the form of a US$20,000 grant towards an animal welfare project of Mary’s choice. Mary says that the grant couldn’t have come at a better time with the need to urgently expand our bear sanctuary in Laos.
“We’ve had eight new bears rescued in Laos in the past few months and our existing sanctuary is bursting at the seams with growing numbers of bears. This much-needed grant will enable us to purchase new land to expand our sanctuary facilities and care for many more bears who are currently being exploited and need a safe and loving home in Laos.” 

With 8 new arrivals to our sanctuary in 2015, this has been our busiest year ever in Laos- and the need for a second sanctuary is growing more urgent by the day. You can help us by donating or purchasing from our online store and we'll make sure that these bears and any others in need of a safe home are given everything they need to enjoy a second chance at life.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Graduation! MSc International Animal Welfare, Ethics & Law

We are very pleased to announce our first ever Masters graduates from our online MSc programme International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law. Graduation for the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Edinburgh took place on 27th November 2015. Of our 11 new graduates, 7 were able to come to Edinburgh to the ceremony in the Usher Hall. We also had one student graduating with a Post Graduate Certificate. The ceremony was wonderful and everyone really enjoyed it. After the ceremony was over, we made our way to the Caledonian Hotel for a celebratory lunch for all of the Post Grad graduates of the Dick Vet.
We look forward to hearing updates from our new graduates as their careers continue.
L-R  Top row: Fritha, Jill, Emma, Brian (Digital Education Unit), Louise, Liz, Angela
Middle row: Becky, Brooke
Bottom row:  Heather, Tish, Nat and Wendy
(not pictured Sarah, also graduated)


Would you eat an alien?

What a great idea by Prof Christine Nicol of Bristol University.

Time to see whether making a 'comedy' series about animal ethics and welfare was a good idea - BBC Radio 4 Wednesdays 9pm, or listen online to the first of four

Which one would you eat.......?


Monday, 7 December 2015

Animal Welfare: Science, Values & Action - John Webster

Follow the link below to a really thought-provoking presentation on the  Animal Welfare Science Centre website by John Webster, University of Bristol.

JMICAWE at The Veterinary Council of India

Last week, our own Prof Nat Waran was in India meeting with The Veterinary Council of India and The Ministry of Agriculture to discuss animal welfare education and research. This follows on from various previous interactions and activities to highlight the importance of an evidence-based approach to dealing with animal welfare issues, and the need for capacity-building for vets working as veterinary lecturers and researchers. The outcome of last week's meetings was very positive with commitments being made by the Veterinary profession and requests from the Indian Government in relation to animal welfare training to achieve international standards. The Jeanne Marchig International Animal Welfare Centre will be providing support for capacity building activities over the next year. 

Prof Nat Waran with Dr Umesh Sharma, Hon. President of The Veterinary Council of India

Friday, 4 December 2015

Nat in India

The Jeanne Marchig office has been unusually quiet for the last few days, which has let Jill and our new administrator Lucy sort out a few wee things on our social media pages. But why has it been so quiet? Well most of the team has been out in India working on the great animal welfare initiatives over there. There has been some amazing stories coming from the work that Indian vets are doing getting animal welfare embedded within the veterinary curriculum.

Remember you can follow us on twitter @JMICAWE and @ProfNatalie

We're particularly excited to tell you more about Hayley's trip with the student vet nurses from Edinburgh Napier, so stay tuned for that, but you can get a little sneak preview by reading Nat's tweets below . . .

You can see some of the highlights of Nat's trip on our Storify!