Centre for Animal Welfare News 2020

18 Feb 2020

The latest news and events from our Centre for Animal Welfare and our undergraduate and postgraduate animal welfare students

February 2020

There is a wolf in sheep’s clothing at the heart of government, argues CAW academic

The Animal Health and Welfare Board of England (AHWBE) demonstrates the capture of animal welfare regulation by the farming industry and therefore a conflict of interest, says Dr Steven McCulloch, Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Studies, in a recent article in The Ecologist. He argues that the animal protection lobby, and indeed the British public, should be 'up in arms' about the AHWBE (which is chaired by a farmer), and demand instead a fully independent 'Animal Protection Commission.' Read the full article.

January 2020

Centre for Animal Welfare secures Bronze Hedgehog-Friendly Campus status for University of Winchester

Animal Welfare at Winchester: image of Hedgehog-Friendly Campus Bronze Award logo

The University of Winchester has been awarded Bronze accreditation for completing the first stage of a national campaign to make university campuses wildlife-friendly, particucularly for critically endangered hedgehogs. Along with over thirty other universities across the country, Winchester staff and students have been actively engaged in completing the various initiatives required for accreditation from the Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign. The campaign is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (find out more).

Initiatives have included:

  • undertaking ongoing hedgehog surveys on campus and logging results on The Big Hedgehog Map
  • ensuring grounds and maintenance teams knew what to do if they found a sick or injured hedgehog
  • ensuring physical information about hedgehogs is available on campus
  • running an active social media campaign
  • organising litter picks around campus
  • placing stickers on all garden machinery to advise users to check for hedgehogs before use
  • writing a blog about the campaign

The team is now working on our bid for Silver accreditation. For further information email MSc Animal Welfare student Carol Cook, or follow us on Twitter.

Winchester Animal Welfare student wins CAW/IFAW Essay Competition

Congratulations to MSc Animal Welfare student Francesca Bandoli, who has won the Centre for Animal Welfare/International Fund for Animal Welfare Essay Competition 2019 for her essay ‘Surviving in the Anthropocene: the study of animal cognitive abilities as a conservation tool’.

Animal welfare at Winchester: image of elephant-friendly beehive fence deterrent in Africa

Beehive fence in Africa, an animal welfare-friendly way of deterring elephants from entering human settlements (image from the winning essay)

"Francesca’s work highlights certain fundamental changes of animal behavioural and cognitive characteristics in response to human activity", explained Prof. Andrew Knight, CAW Director and Programme Leader for the MSc. "It demonstrates how understanding of such animal characteristics can be used in conservation efforts. It is an excellent essay on a topic which is both fascinating and important."

"It's great to be providing this award to a student who has such a healthy interest in the topic", added IFAW 's new Director James Sawyer. "The nexus between animal welfare and conservation is a critical one, and further understanding of how the disciplines can be of benefit to each other is needed. As population sizes diminish in the wild, the wellbeing of the individual animal becomes ever more important."

Read the full essay here: winning essay CAW IFAW Essay Competition 2019

Read all about it! Winchester Animal Welfare students and graduates featured in latest edition of Animal Justice UK e-zine

Don't miss Animal Justice UK Volume 7, Dec. 2019, which includes articles by graduate Hannah Wade, who discusses her undergraduate research into the important area of humane education; BA student Tom Gooch, who recounts his experiences volunteering for Orang Utan Appeal UK, and MSc student Alice Oven who talks about studying animal law as a postgraduate.

Read Animal Justice UK Volume 7, Dec. 2019 online

For more news from Alice Oven, see below.

For pet and planet: Winchester Animal Welfare student highlights potential of cell-based meat for pets in new book

Dec. 2019 saw the launch of MSc Animal Welfare student Alice Oven's new book The Clean Pet Food Revolution. One of the first books to cover alternatives to traditional pet foods, including plant-based diets, this engaging book makes an important contribution to an emerging field of key importance to animal welfare.

Animal Welfare student Alice Oven

"There are an increasing number of studies on human willingness to consume cell-based meat, yet attitudes to feeding pets these novel proteins have yet to be formally investigated, despite the existence of three cell-based meat pet food start-ups", explains Alice, who has also recently published the article 'The unexpected potential of cell-based meat for pet food' in the International Animal Health Journal (read it HERE). In February, she will be presenting a poster on cell-based meat for pets at the Companion Animal Nutrition conference.

Invasive animal research contributes little to combatting Major Depressive Disorder, argue Winchester animal welfare experts

Winchester PhD student Constanca Carvalhio, based at the University of Lisbon, and CAW Director Prof. Andrew Knight along with other co-authors, have just published a paper demonstrating that invasive animal research provides few worthwhile contributions to combatting Major Depressive Disorder, one of the world’s most serious mental health disorders. They carried out a comparative analysis of the literature and found that human-based approaches were considered to be more relevant, usually cheaper and less ethically contentious than non-human primate (NHP) studies.

Read it online: Carvalho, C. et al. (2019). The relevance of in silico, in vitro and non-human primate based approaches to clinical research on major depressive disorder. Altern Lab Anim, 47(3–4), 128–139

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