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University LINKs Scheme

Hartpury College (UK)

Mrs Lucy Bearman-Brown
Animal Science
Email: Lucy.bearman-brown@hartpury.ac.uk



17th annual UFAW Student Animal Welfare Conference
Writtle University College ONLINE        26th April 2023
Dr Jonathan Amory, Writtle University College

Undergraduate students from Writtle University College, Brooksby Melton College, Hartpury University and Moulton College took part in this annual research conference presenting their dissertation studies in animal welfare science. The conference began with a welcome from Professor Tim Middleton and words from Dr Stephen Wickens from UFAW. This was followed by an inspiring and interactive lecture from Suzanne Rogers from Human Behaviour Change for Life entitled 'Applying the science of behaviour change to help animals'.

This year introduced the 30 second flash talks to entice conference attendees to go online to look at student posters. Main presentations were:

  • The Visitor Effect on Captive Raptor Behaviour at a Falconry Centre in the UK (Ellie Martin and Ben Brilot, Hartpury)  - winner of the Best Presentation award 
  • An evaluation of stress-related behaviours comparing the intramuscular and intradermal needle-free vaccine on piglet welfare (Ellie Breeze and Isabel Lewis, Writtle)
  • A Taxonomic Bias Study with Management Implications (Nathan Scott and Melanie Reynolds, Moulton) 
  • Would pre-purchase spinal x-rays (that rule out ‘kissing spine’) increase buyer confidence and horse welfare when purchasing former racehorses for continual riding? (Erin Hall and Helen Tedds, Hartpury) 

Lily Hewitt-Bennett (Writtle) won the Best Poster award for her study "An investigation into, and a comparison of peak pressure and pressure distribution under a general-purpose saddle, racing exercise saddle, and race saddle at a walk". Megan Read and Katie Townsend also presented posters on behalf of Writtle University College. All the posters can be viewed here: https://www.library.writtle.ac.uk/ufaw2023

Many thanks to Helen Tedds, Jane Carruthers and Nicola Field at our partner institutions and Dr Stephen Wickens UFAW. Special thanks to Mary Davidson, David Hopkinson and Eleanor Drinkwater for their support.


More than 90 students and staff from Brooksby Melton College, Hartpury College, Moulton College and Writtle University College attended the 13th Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) Student Animal Welfare conference on Wednesday 21 March. The keynote presentation was entitled “In Conversation with Chickens”, given by Dr Siobhan Abeyesinghe, Head of Animal Welfare and Ethics group at the Royal Veterinary College. This was followed by research presentations and a poster event displaying the dissertation projects of more than 30 students.

The prizes awarded were:

BEST ORAL PRESENTATION - Caitlyn Cuthbert, BSc (Hons) Equine Behaviour and Welfare at Writtle University College

The Effect of Isolation on Equine Behaviour, Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability Whilst Exercised on a Horse Walker

Caitlyn Cuthbert and Rosa Verwijs

COMMENDED ORAL PRESENTATION - Charlotte Hood, BSc (Hons) Animal Management at Writtle University College

The back garden chicken’s preference of dustbathing substrate and the substrates ability to improve plumage quality by reducing the feather lipid concentration

Charlotte Hood and Jonathan Amory

BEST POSTER - Lucianna Churchill, MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy at Writtle University College

A systematic review: Common occurring injuries in performance dogs

Lucianna Churchill and Nick Selemetas

COMMENDED POSTER – Leighanne Mclean, Hartpury College

How well do nutrient components of dry, wet and raw dog foods meet the NRC’s recommendations?

Leighanne Mclean and Brian Evans


12th Annual UFAW Student Animal Welfare Conference – Hartpury College

On March 29th 2017, students and staff from Moulton, Writtle and Brooksby Melton Colleges travelled to Hartpury to attend the 12th annual UFAW Student Animal Welfare Conference. At this inter-collegiate event, which is supported by the UFAW LINK scheme, final year students from the four colleges present the results of studies undertaken as part of their degrees.

Attendees listened to a range of talks from students at each college and browsed a diverse selection of poster presentations, on topics including assessment of dental disease in guinea pigs to an investigation into stress responses and coping strategies in horses. The day started with a thought provoking keynote speech from Professor Bob Elwood (Queen’s University Belfast) on ‘Assessing the potential for pain in invertebrates’. In his talk Professor Elwood presented the results of numerous studies that made a compelling case that many crustaceans do indeed feel pain.

Special congratulations go to the following students, who were awarded prizes for the quality of their work and presentations:

Best talk: Louise Cox (Hartpury College) ‘An assessment of dietary drift and why it occurs at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park’

Runner up: Lauren Dey (Writtle College) ‘The effect of anaesthetic in calf castration, assessed through behavioural observation and infrared thermography’

Best poster: Kate Bateson (Moulton College) ‘Rabbit energy requirements – temperature influence’

Runner up: Hope Williams (Brooksby Melton College) ‘Are their diffences in faecal pH levels if riding horses are fed on dry hay, soaked hay or haylage?’

Thanks to all those who attended and to the staff at Hartpury that were involved in organising the event, especially Lucy Bearman Brown.

For a number of years UFAW has been supporting the annual student animal welfare conference that is organised jointly by Hartpury, Moulton and Writtle Colleges. This year it was Hartpury’s turn to host the event, the 8th, in which students from each college present the outcome of research they have undertaken as part of their academic studies – either as a poster or as a talk.

The meeting featured presentations on a wide range of topics related to animal welfare science, from nocturnal eating behaviour and preference of stabled horses to the influence of teat hierarchy on the growth curve of piglets. Standards were excellent and prizes were given for the best talks and posters. Special congratulations should go to Hartpury student Luisa Dormer whose well researched and engaging presentation on ‘A meta-analysis of case-control trials to assess the efficacy of nutraceuticals in alleviating clinical signs of canine osteoarthritis’ won the prize for the best talk. We can only agree with the sentiments expressed by the Hartpury staff ‘All [the] students worked incredibly hard and made us very proud.’.

Prize winners

Prize Winners and Staff at the UFAW Student Animal Welfare Conference

Left to right; Dr Wanda McCormick (senior lecturer at Moulton College); Katherine Smith (Writtle College); Dr Jonathon Amory (principal lecturer at Writtle College); Luisa Dormer (Hartpury College); Nicole Renn (Moulton College); Dr Stephen Wickens (Development Officer at UFAW); Jenna Catlin (Moulton College); Lucy Clarke (subject leader at Hartpury College)


2010 studentsHartpury hosted the 5th Student Animal Welfare Conference on Wednesday 28th of April. Final year undergraduate students from Hartpury, Moulton and Writtle Colleges presented the findings of their undergraduate dissertation research on animal welfare. The Conference which was sponsored by the University Federation for Animal Welfare and Hartpury College was a great success, and the talks and posters presented were of a very high standard. The prize for the best talk was won by a Hartpury Equine Science student Caroline Hughes and Amie Reid from Moulton College won the prize for the best poster.


2009 studentsHartpury’s level 1 FdSc and BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare students visit Bristol Zoo using UFAW funding.

Students enrolled on Animal Behaviour and Welfare programmes at Hartpury visited Bristol Zoo during induction week. This visit was sponsored by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare as part of the “link college” programme. UFAW is an independent registered charity that works to develop and promote improvements in the welfare of all animals through scientific and educational activity worldwide. The students toured the zoo and also had an education session on animal welfare at the Education Centre. They found the visit to be very beneficial and commented that it had enhanced their understanding of the welfare issues surrounding captive animals.