Tuesday, 30 August 2016

International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law Masters students complete their projects and their degrees

Our second cohort of students studying on the online Masters programme in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law (IAWEL) received notification of their Masters degree results this week (to be awarded in graduation ceremony in November). The students have been working really hard on their projects for the past year, writing a thesis and undertaking two live presentations. The subjects of this year’s projects have varied widely, all have made fascinating reading and will certainly add to our knowledge in animal welfare science.

The subjects covered are varied and challenging. We have had two legal analyses: one, assessing the effect of so-called ‘Ag-Gag’ laws on farm animal welfare and the other, evaluating the levels of protection given to rabbits as pets, lab animals, and pests. One student undertook a gap analysis of non-surgical methods of dog population control from a welfare perspective. A student based in Vietnam assessed understanding and attitude of people in different regions of Vietnam to Pangolins, an animal that is at great risk of extinction from hunting and trading. One student who is based on Saipan assessed attitude to pet and ‘boonie’ (street) dogs on the Pacific islands of Guam and Saipan. Our first IAWEL student from mainland China carried out the first ever survey of Chinese dog owners about dog behaviour problems.

All of our IAWEL students are encouraged to publish their work in scientific publication if possible, and we look forward to hearing about their publication successes in the coming months.

Programme Director, Dr Fritha Langford said; 'The combined welfare team of  JMICAWE and SRUC staff, along with all of our enthusiastic external lecturers, wish our new graduates all the best in their future endeavours'.

Friday, 12 August 2016

NEW Clinical Animal Behaviour MSc

With only a few weeks to go before the new Clinical Animal Behaviour PG programme goes live, Programme Director, Prof Nat Waran and Prog Coordinator Dr Amy Miele are really pleased with the good number of applications that they received. ‘It looks like we will be welcoming considerably more students than we originally planned for in our first year, and the diverse range of backgrounds and expertise makes for an excellent student cohort ’ said Dr Amy Miele. She adds, 'this is a subject area of growing interest and it is fantastic to see that so many veterinary and animal welfare professionals are committed to developing their knowledge of behaviour in order to improve the welfare of the animals in their care'. The Programme, is an extension of the highly successful suite of online Masters programmes offered through the RDSVS, including the International animal welfare, ethics and law programme that was developed through the JMICAWE in 2012. 

JMICAWE Director Prof Nat Waran, who is responsible for developing this new programme comments; ’Its an interesting and challenging subject area, with students from many countries coming together to study wholly online, a range of subjects related to the theory of companion animal behaviour, causes of problem behaviour and animal welfare needs including; learning and motivation, behaviour modification, the science behind different therapies and treatment of behavioural problems, and the human-animal bond . We are really pleased to be able to offer this extremely socially relevant programme here at the RDSVS where we are committed to providing quality evidence based education to help improve animal welfare’.

The MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour is a new programme in 2016 using the University of Edinburgh’s award winning online learning environments.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Filming for MOOC 2- 'The Truth about cats and dogs' gets underway

With the success of our first MOOC (a Massive Open access Online Course) addressing issues relating to international animal welfare, we have responded to the many requests we have had to create a new MOOC, to provide an indepth look into the world of cats and dogs worldwide, to help dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings about pet behaviour and discover the truth about their needs.

Scripts are being created, images sourced and filming has now started, and the JMICAWE team's pets have all been washed and spruced ready for their big moments. We are well underway and excited about what we have planned.

JMICAWE team dogs are all ready for their starring roles
This free online course will be made available on Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/) by January 2017, but you can follow our, at times quite hilarious progress as we make our films (well anyone working with animals and scientists should expect some unplanned events!) by watching out for our tweets, blogs and facebooks posts at this link: http://www.ed.ac.uk/vet/jeanne-marchig-centre/news