Follow all the latest news and updates from the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE) in Edinburgh.
The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education aim is to strive towards improving the quality of life for all animals through education, training and by influencing policy at the highest level.
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
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!
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.