Thursday, 28 February 2013

A successful 3rd workshop in India

Successful third workshop on Companion Animal Welfare held in India

JMICAWE’s Director, Prof Natalie Waran; Veterinarian and JMICAWE Outreach Manager, Heather Bacon and Welfare Veterinary Nurse, Hayley Walters, have just returned from Kerala after having delivered a week long companion animal welfare workshop for Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University Faculty members.

This is the last of the three workshops provided by The University of Edinburgh with the support of the British Council’s Knowledge Economy Partnership Scheme.
15 members of the Kerala clinical teaching team from two campuses attended the workshop, during which they learned about how to utilize a problem based learning approach to deliver teaching in the area of companion animal welfare, welfare assessment, shelter medicine and clinical skills development.

The Edinburgh team took a variety of animal alternatives with them, including manikins designed for enabling students to practice their suturing, catheter placement and blood-taking skills as well as on-line teaching resources for teaching physiological, pharmacological and anatomical course content without the need for live animals.
The team was delighted to be accompanied by Ruth DeVere, Head of Education for the World Society for the Protection of  Animals who was keen to learn more about the work of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education in India, as well as to explore ways to collaborate in future.

The KVASU Vice Chancellor, Dr Ashok and senior colleagues at the University will be hosting the final symposium later this spring to show-case the way in which the programme has helped with capacity building and up-skilling their staff in innovative and student-centred approaches to teaching, as well as embedding animal welfare and ethics into their curriculum.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Animal Welfare Futures Conference - a great success

The Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Master students (MSc AABAW) organised a one-day conference on Animal Welfare Futures, held at Easter Bush Campus on Thursday 14 February. 

Their Programme Director, Dr Susan Jarvis, commented ‘that the students did an excellent job in organising a really interesting and thought provoking day’. 

Issues relating to global use and production of animals, climate change, economics of animal welfare, future of animal welfare legislation and changing attitudes to animal welfare were all discussed in the question sessions and during the Panel discussions.

The speakers included: Harry Eckman, Mike Appleby, Alistair Stott, Christopher Wathes, Heather Bacon and Xavier Manteca (by Webinar).

Thanks to the speakers, staff from both the R(D)SVS and SRuC, everyone who attended and well done to the students!!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

New resources at Clinical Skills Lab

The R(D)SVS Clinical Skills Lab has recently benefited from a number of new resources, kindly purchased through funding from the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (

These will be fantastic resources for clinical skills training for our students, and include an exciting new equine colic simulator, canine neutering mannikins and a bovine rectal palpation simulator (see attached photos).

We also have several mannikins for students to initially learn and develop essential clinical skills such as canine intravenous access,  endotracheal intubation and auscultation in a safe, welfare-friendly environment.

If staff and students are interested in seeing the resources that we now have on offer for clinical skills training, then please feel free to call in to our ‘Open House Day’ next week – details below:

R(D)SVS Clinical Skills Lab - Open House Day
Date: Thursday 21st February 2013
Time: 9.00 - 5.00pm (feel free to call in on an open-access basis between these hours)
Venue: Clinical Skills Lab, room 1.21, 1st floor of New Vet School

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Our Welfare Veterinary Nurse, Hayley Walters was delighted to be invited to join the Dogs Trust team in Sarajevo in February this year. The team were responsible for providing up-skilling to 6 Bosnian veterinary surgeons in the areas of anaesthesia, surgical skills and ‘trap, neuter and release’ work. The course took place at the only veterinary training school in Bosnia, the University of Sarajevo - veterinary faculty, over a five day period.  

Along with providing and demonstrating quality veterinary nursing management of the patients, Hayley was responsible for delivering intubation and anaesthesia tutorials, as well as demonstrating and promoting the use of alternative training methods for suturing and intravenous catheter placement, using animal ‘manikins’ and training models to enable students to develop and practise their skills.
“It was a privilege to be asked by Dogs Trust to join their team in Bosnia. I was really impressed by the wonderful hospitality shown by the Bosnian veterinarians being up-skilled, and especially pleased by their eagerness to learn more about best practice surgical skills, anaesthetic monitoring and pain relief”.
Sarajevo has a human population of 300,000 and a street dog population of between, 11,000 – 13,000. Shooting dogs for population management became illegal 5 years ago and since then, with no other management in place, dog numbers have grown dramatically with the resulting animal welfare and public health concerns’.
With more Dogs Trust led workshops planned throughout the year, the number of skilled, competent Bosnian vets placed around Sarajevo will increase thus ensuring the neutering campaign to be a humane, successful answer to the problem. In addition, the JMICAWE team hope to work together with Sarajevo University veterinary faculty to help provide more information for veterinary undergraduates on animal welfare science to help with creating a more sustainable approach to humanely managing dog and cat populations in the future.

Improving animal welfare through improved veterinary skills

There are few situations that a newly graduated vet fears more than equine colic. This tricky, life-threatening condition may be challenging to both diagnose and treat, and has many causes and various symptoms. Because of its life-threatening nature, students rarely have the opportunity to gain experience in basic colic examination techniques or to see the different types of colic that may present.

However students at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary studies will now have the opportunity to practice enhanced techniques in equine colic diagnosis to better enable them to prepare for the real thing, thanks to generous funding from the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.

The equine colic simulator, developed by the University of Calgary, Canada, is a life-like equine model, complete with internal organs and allows for a variety of simulated scenarios including a variety of obstructions and an abdominocentesis simulation.

The simulator joins a range of manikins and models utilised by the R(D)SVS and supported by JMICAWE to better prepare students for their life ‘in practice’ and to reduce the need for live animal use in education. Improved clinical skills lead to an enhanced educational experience and ensure that veterinary students are more dexterous and well-trained before accessing live-animal patients in real-clinic scenarios.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Future of Animal Welfare - 14th February 2013.

Register at:

February 14th, 2013 – The Roslin Institute Building Auditorium (G-022)
Introduction to Conference
Harry Eckman, CFAF – Human Attitude and Behaviour Change in Relation to Animal Welfare
Mike Appleby,  WSPA  – Animal Management, Animal Welfare, and the Future of the World
Alistair Stott, SRUC – Economics and Animal Welfare
Panel Discussion A
Christopher Wathes, RVC – Farm Animal Welfare in Great Britain: Past, Present and Future
Heather Bacon,  JMICAWE – Animal Welfare Around the World
Xavier Manteca (Webinar),  Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona  – The Future Of EU Legislation on       Farm Animal Welfare
Video Presentation
Panel Discussion B and Closing Remarks

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Good clinical decision-making is central to being a good vet

This week, both the staff and students here at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies were delighted to engage in an ethical debate and discussion, led by Dr James Yeates, Chief Veterinary Surgeon for the RSPCA. The topic was “Decision-making in practice and the role and responsibilities of the veterinary surgeon”.

“Good clinical decision-making is central to being a good vet. This requires not only enough medical knowledge, but also accurate welfare assessment and sound ethical reasoning. Best practice (as described in textbooks) can take us so far, but not many cases allow such ‘best practice’” says Dr Yeates, and in his presentations he discussed the concept of ‘Bespoke best practice’, tailored towards a particular animal in a particular situation, rather than a textbook case.

Dr Yeates also emphasised the role of the veterinary profession in guiding positive animal welfare decisions, and our responsibilities to both our patients and clients.

This presentation was part of the ‘Ethics and Welfare’ lecture series championed by the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, to encourage discussion and debate on animal welfare and ethical issues relating to the veterinary profession.