Make a difference to animals lives

Help us to help more animals around the world.  We’re asking for your support to help us to do more.  We currently have a grants fund of £40,000 which enables us to fund quality projects which help a variety of animals across the globe.  We’d like to be able to fund more, particularly as there are outstanding and deserving calls for support, but we need more funds to be able to do so.  Can you help us to reach £50,000?

Story

UFAW is an animal welfare charity but one with a difference. We help millions of animals around the world, from pets to wild and farm animals, and have done since 1926. UFAW’s work changes attitudes and legislation regarding how animals are cared for and treated.  Thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters, we’ve been able to fund some amazing work with a lasting impact but we’d so like to be able to do more.  We’re currently appealing for funds to help us to be able to support more animal welfare projects. 

Why is science important?

One of the most important tools in the box for challenging unnecessary suffering is animal welfare science. When supported by scientific evidence, views carry more weight - change for the better depends on knowledge, understanding and practical solutions.  A major part of UFAW’s work is enabling mankind to find out and understand more about what matters to animals and how we can improve their welfare.  It does this by funding quality projects which have the capacity to help large numbers of animals and to really make a difference, and by disseminating the information learned.  For example, some of our recent projects have included the welfare implications of hot-iron disbudding in diary calves (USA), a workshop on elephant behaviour, welfare and training for owners and mahouts in Thailand, the promotion of animal welfare by introducing new approaches to clinical skills teaching at veterinary schools in Bangladesh and a study which looked at the effects of dog training methods on pet dog welfare and the dog-owner bond (Portugal).  You can read more about some of these projects below.

Why we need your help

Despite substantial achievements, outside the scientific and academic/veterinary community, relatively few people are aware that UFAW has been hard at work for nearly a century. Over the years, UFAW’s work has made real, lasting improvements to animals’ lives and encompassed a vast range of animals from the mouse to the elephant. Much of this work has been funded by donations from supporters – a powerful testament to the generosity and benevolence of those who care about animals and their welfare.  

Here's a selection of some of the projects we’ve funded recently:

The welfare implications of hot-iron disbudding in dairy calves (USA)

It is common practice to remove the growing horns of dairy calves aged between 0-2 months of age, to reduce potential injuries to humans and other animals. One method used is ‘hot-iron disbudding’ where the horn buds are cauterized using intense heat. UFAW funding enabled a project by Dr Sarah Adcock and colleagues at UC Davis, USA aimed at understanding whether de-horning dairy cattle causes chronic (long-term) pain. It is now well accepted that analgesia or local anaesthesia should be used when dehorning cattle, but it is not known whether cattle suffer longer-term pain. The study aims to find out if cattle continue to experience pain at the site of horn removal over the weeks following the procedure. If this proves to be the case, recommendations could be made about ways of providing long-term pain relief following disbudding or changes made to dairy farming practice to reduce the painfulness of disbudding or even avoid disbudding entirely.  The project should be completed in 2019.

Workshop on elephant behaviour, welfare and training for owners and mahouts in Thailand

In 2017, UFAW supported a workshop project in Thailand aimed at improving the welfare of elephants living in captivity in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. The 5 day workshop brought together mahouts, owners and veterinarians from the region’s elephant camps to develop a better understanding of elephant welfare, learn new and better training and care methods and so improve the welfare of these elephants.

Dr Lisa Yon, a Lecturer in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Nottingham University and UFAW LINK member, said: “We want to work together with the mahouts and elephant camp owners who are working to ensure the positive wellbeing of these elephants. The elephant is endangered, and within a few decades these animals could become extinct in the wild. The only ones we would then have left on the planet would be those living in captivity – we need to give those animals the best welfare possible.”

The workshop was well received with extremely positive feedback.  Said Lisa: “Again, our grateful thanks to UFAW for their support of our workshop, which we think was a tremendous success.  As you’ll have seen from the feedback, there is strong interest there for us to hold a follow-up workshop..

Clinical skills teaching at veterinary schools in Bangladesh

A UFAW grant enabled a two-day workshop to promote animal welfare by introducing new approaches to clinical skills teaching at veterinary schools in Bangladesh in January 2019.  About 40 delegates attended, representing nearly all of the veterinary schools in Bangladesh as well as Sri Lanka.  The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness of the use of models as alternatives to animals in clinical skills teaching, allow delegates to make their own models from easily sourced local materials, share open-access learning resources (eg videos, instruction booklets and discussion forums) and enable delegates to design their own clinical skills teaching room/facility. 

Professor Sarah Baillie, Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Education at the Bristol Veterinary School, who was awarded the grant to run the workshop said: “The level of engagement by the delegates in all the workshop activities was amazing… it was an important and useful event for them and they really appreciated it.  Thank you for supporting this project.”

The effects of dog training methods on pet dog welfare and dog-owner bond

Dogs play an increasingly relevant role as companion animals in western societies and understanding the effects of training methods on pet dog welfare and the dog-owner relationship has important implications for dogs.  A project led by Dr Ana Caterina Viera de Castro at the Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMC) in Porto, Portugal and funded by UFAW is examining dog training methods, the welfare of dogs and the quality of the bond between dog and owner. This project will look at whether positive reinforcement training using rewards is better not only, for the dogs’ welfare, but also for the bond between dog and owner.  The project is currently ongoing and due for completion later in 2019.

Please help us with a donation – your support has the potential to make a difference now, as well as have an impact in the future.  Should funds exceed the amount required for this project, UFAW will apply funds to other projects to benefit animal welfare.

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