Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Truth about Cats and Dogs - Free Online Course

The University of Edinburgh has launched a new Massive Open-access Online Course: The Truth about Cats and Dogs.

In this course we provide 'an insight into cat and dog behaviour - through their eyes'. The course is divided into five topics: the appliance of science; behaviour and body language; senses and perception; challenges for the human-animal relationship, including pet problem behaviour; and how to improve the quality of life for cats and dogs in our care. By exploring how our pet cats and dogs perceive the world, we can gain a greater insight into their unique needs, and understand how to better provide for these needs, thus enhancing the important relationships that we have with our pet dogs and cats.

Sign-up now for the free online course (pay £39 ONLY if you want the certificate). Course starts 17 April. Register now

We look forward to you joining the course!

Monday, 20 March 2017

JMICAWE's vet nurse in Sri Lanka and India

JMICAWE's veterinary nurse Hayley Walters has just returned from a very successful meeting with leading faculty members from the Kerala Veterinary Animal Science University (KVASU).

Hayley and JMICAWE's vet Heather Bacon had previously been in Sri Lanka delivering CPD in inhalational anaesthesia to Charity partner Dogstar; and meeting with the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, Sri Lanka’s only vet school, to further enhance veterinary education in partnership with The University of Edinburgh.  Hayley then took the opportunity to meet with KVASU in India on her way home.

The aim of the meeting was to further discuss the introduction of a 12-month veterinary nursing programme at KVASU. Well-trained veterinary nurses provide the vital care a patient needs when it is sick and fearful in the clinic and can dramatically improve a patient’s welfare whilst reducing the workload of the veterinary surgeon, freeing him or her up to concentrate on more complex aspects of veterinary medicine.

KVASU currently has a 6-month programme that is practically taught and includes both large and small animal teaching with a focus on pharmacy, laboratory and reproduction.

A more small animal based programme, that included classroom teaching 2 hours a day as well as practical, on-the-job training, was agreed to be needed to help with vets treating India’s booming pet population.

A 12-stage plan is in place and on schedule with the next step being to identify what Indian vets think skills and knowledge a well-trained vet nurse should have to be of optimum benefit.

Teaching videos and handouts, specific to India, are also being developed by the JMICAWE team to help with the teaching of this new course.

Hayley said, “The 6 month course already trains some extremely dedicated and thoughtful students who either go on to be veterinary assistants or train further as livestock inspectors. With a focus on small animal training, we can ensure that dog and cat inpatients are receiving the best care possible whilst in the clinics from knowledgeable veterinary nurses who support the vet”.

Friday, 10 March 2017

JMICAWE vet team improving dog and cat welfare in Sri Lanka

JMICAWE vet team improving dog and cat welfare in Sri Lanka

Heather and Hayley from the JMICAWE have returned to Sri Lanka to further enhance veterinary education in partnership with the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka’s only vet school. The partnership aims to develop collaborative teaching and research initiatives to enhance veterinary skills in canine and feline medicine and surgery and veterinary nursing, supported by funding from the Dog’s Trust.

Heather and Hayley will also deliver CPD in inhalational anaesthesia to Charity partner Dogstar, a Sri Lankan NGO which runs a mobile spay neuter outreach program and has sterilised over 15000 animals, actively reducing the numbers of unwanted puppies and kittens in the Negombo region. 

This ongoing collaboration between academic and NGO partners aims to optimise veterinary skills in canine and feline medicine and surgery in Sri Lanka, as well as enhancing practical welfare of in-patients in the University hospitals, and the Dogstar mobile clinic.

This visit builds on Heather and Hayley’s previous visit in November 2016, which resulted in a number of positive activities at the University of Peradeniya, including a 3 day workshop on canine behaviour, medicine, and surgery, sponsored by Dog’s Trust, the development of a new feline ward, and the training of veterinary students, and veterinary assistants from the Sri Lankan police, air force, army and zoo in canine behaviour, handling, and nursing skills.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Humans are key to improving animal welfare, says Professor Temple Grandin on her recent Edinburgh visit

Humans are key to improving animal welfare

SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and JMICAWE were delighted and honoured to host a visit by Professor Temple Grandin of Colorado State University to Edinburgh in February.

Professor Grandin is a renowned writer on animal welfare, stockmanship and livestock handling, as well as on her experiences of living with autism, and has been a major contributor to improving animal welfare, especially in the USA, for 40 years. She has recently been inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in USA.

During her visit Temple gave a riveting lecture to a packed auditorium of staff and students from SRUC and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in the Roslin Institute. She shared her unique insights into how animals perceive the world, and how this knowledge can be used to improve ease of handling and livestock welfare. She reiterated her views, based on her long experiences in the field, that ‘things’ (handling systems, engineering products, genetics) would not improve animal welfare without improving stockmanship and how people respond to the animals in their care.

Temple has also been very involved in the improvements in animal welfare assessment in the USA, and was clear that these systems worked when the measures were simple, clearly related to the most important animal welfare issues (her ‘critical control points’), and easy to apply in practice.

The feedback on her talk has been extremely positive and students were inspired by her passion and dedication to animal welfare. They were also delighted to be able to interact with her on visits to the vet school and in discussing and presenting their own research. Temple was extremely generous with her time, signing books and posing for photos, and engaging with the research of our PhD students and early career researchers. At the end of her visit we were all left in awe of this great woman, but also inspired and energised to continue to work for improving animal welfare.

A copy of Temple’s seminar will be available soon if you follow this link

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day - 8th March 2017

International Women’s Day, 8th March 2017

The theme of this year’s International Women’s day is ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’. 

At JMICAWE we would like to believe that this will also mean a planet where all lives are respected and a culture of care for one another exists. With this is mind we would like to celebrate the great women who have worked to improve animal welfare globally:

The explorers, advocates and pioneers for animal welfare change and appreciation of the complexity of animal lives: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Anna Sewell, Mary Midgley, Joy Adamson, Ruth Harrison, Rachel Carson…

The founders of charities, boards and NGOs for animal welfare and protection, and advocates: Maria Dickin (founder PDSA); Dorothy Brooke (founder The Brooke); Mary Tealby (founder Battersea dogs home); Marcia Glaser (co-founder Humane Society); Helen Jones (co-founder Humane Society); Rukmuni Devi Arundale (founder Animal Welfare Board of India); Jill Robinson (founder of Animals Asia); Virginia McKenna (Founder of Born Free); Mary Hutton (Founder of Free the Bears); Pei-Feng Su (Co-founder of ActAsia); Sam Green (Co-Founder of Dogstar); Madame Jeanne Marchig (founder of the Marchig Trust); Joyce D’Silva, Cindy Milburn

The animal welfare researchers: Marian Dawkins, Temple Grandin, Marie-France Bouissou, Christine Nicol, Joy Mench, Ruth Newberry, Anne-Marie de Passille, Carol Petherick, Linda Keeling, Birte Nielsen, Georgia Mason, Isabelle Veissier, Liz Paul, Dot McKeegan, Vicky Sandilands, Janice Swanson, Janice Siegford,… and all the very many female members of ISAE, 

Female animal welfare science and veterinary scientists and students around the world.

The unsung heroes of animal welfare: the female veterinary nurses, animal care technicians, volunteers in animal shelters, goushalas, sanctuaries and all those working to improve animal lives on the ground where ever they are in the world.

And of course our very own JMICAWE extended ‘family’ – Heather, Hayley, Fritha, Susan, Tamsin, Amy, Lucy, Cathy, Nat, Louise, Jill, Bryony, Francoise, Marie, Emma, Mel, Sarah, Laura, Irene ….

We thank you all.