Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Dog Day at Vogrie Park - The Science behind the Wag

Dr Amy Miele from the JMICAWE team recently took part in a Midlothian Science Festival event entitled, ‘Dog Day: The Science Behind the Wag’, which was held at Vogrie Country Park on Sunday 9th October. The free event attracted hundreds of dog enthusiasts of all ages, who were able to get involved in hands on drop-in activities, workshops, agility and obedience demonstrations as well as an expert Q&A session. 

Members of the R(D)SVS, The Roslin Institute, Midlothian Dog Training Club, Dog’s Trust, Guide Dog’s Association, Canine Concern Scotland (Therapets) and All4paws came together to create an educational and fun-filled afternoon.

Activities focussed on understanding canine body language and emotions, with a ‘name the emotion’ task led by Benjamin Cross, R(D)SVS student and founder of the Dick Vet Animal Behaviour Society and a desensitisation workshop run by behaviour consultant and R(D)SVS lecturer in Clinical Animal Behaviour, Dr Amy Miele.  Amy was also one of the experts in the Q&A session (alongside trainer and behaviour advisor Julie Morrison from the Dog’s Trust and trainer Carol Mcdonald from the Midlothian Dog Training Club) , which was lively, stimulating and informative.

Event organiser Dr Heather McQueen from the University of Edinburgh and Midlothian Dog Training Club commented, ‘The event was a resounding success, people were genuinely fascinated by what the experts had to say and seemed really keen to utilise what they had learned to optimise their relationship with their dog’.

The event ended with the ‘Corridor of Temptation’, where owners were given the opportunity to show off their dog’s recall skills by asking them to run past a plethora of tempting treats and toys, including a plate of sausages and a rather life-like moving cat toy! While some dogs took the distractions in their stride and had eyes only for their handler, others were a little more curious, requiring the sausages to be replenished on a regular basis!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Promoting animal welfare and veterinary care in Chinese zoos

Promoting animal welfare and veterinary care in Chinese zoos

Earlier this year the JMICAWE built on a long-term collaboration with NGO Animals Asia, and the Chinese Association of Zoo Gardens delivering an advanced Veterinary training workshop to 80 zoo vets from collections across China.

Standards of veterinary training in China remain much lower than in the UK, and there currently is no further training available on the subject of zoological medicine, meaning that for thousands of zoo animals across China, even basic healthcare is a challenge. Building on the success of this relationship representatives from AAF and JMICAWE were invited to attend the inaugural meeting of the CAZG Education Committee in September, and will be moving forward to cooperate with the North Eastern Forestry University in China, and CAZG to develop a strategy for education in veterinary skills, animal behaviour and welfare across the Chinese zoo community.

“We know that zoos are controversial to many people”, said Heather Bacon of the JMICAWE, “but we also recognise that zoos are a reality for many animals around the world, and if we can provide zoo vets and keepers with the skills to deliver good standards of husbandry and veterinary care, we can dramatically improve the welfare of hundreds of thousands of animals”

Monday, 10 October 2016

JMICAWE's Heather Bacon awarded BVA's Trevor Blackburn Award

Last week, the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education was delighted to hear that our own Heather Bacon was announced as the recipient of BVA's Trevor Blackburn Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to improving animal health and welfare in developing countries through education, charity work and research.

The award particularly recognises Heather’s work with Animals Asia to rehabilitate victims of the bear bile industry; her role as Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager at the University of Edinburgh’s Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, in encouraging the use of manikins and models in place of live animals in veterinary teaching; her research and clinical practice to raise animal welfare and veterinary skills standards within the global zoo community; and her work with street dogs involved in Trap-Neuter-Return programmes.

On learning that she had been awarded the Trevor Blackburn Award, Heather commented:

“I’m truly honoured to receive the Trevor Blackburn award. To be recognised alongside previous recipients, and the wonderful contributions that they’ve made to animal health and welfare overseas is incredible. However, I’m acutely aware that none of my work would be possible without an amazing array of colleagues and friends around the world who support, facilitate, and advise me in order to ensure that the educational work that I do is not ‘lost in translation’. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do the work that I do, and hope that awards such as this, which are so important in recognising the global impact of the UK veterinary community, will inspire vets across the UK to make a difference internationally.”


Well done, Heather - the team all send their sincere congratulations on this latest achievement!