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University LINKs Scheme

University of Newcastle (UK)

Dr Carmen Hubbard
Centre for Rural Economy
Email: carmen.hubbard@ncl.ac.uk



Each year, students undertaking the BSc in Animal Science and the BSc in Agriculture at Newcastle University are tasked with organising a conference on animal science. This year the theme wasAnimal welfare vs human needs: Is there a compromise?’ and UFAW was pleased to be able to offer support to this meeting when asked by the organising committee through the LINK scheme.

The 3rd year students had to research and present talks on four topics – current issues in companion animals, positive and negative examples of wildlife conservation, welfare practises and issues relating to the cattle slaughter and animal testing – identifying and exploring welfare concerns in each. These talks were supported by related presentations from guest speakers who talked on issues surrounding the ethics of orthopaedic companion animal surgery, the success of action taken to raise standards in a zoo requiring improvement and the experiences of a practising livestock veterinary surgeon. The standard of presentations were very good. Even more impressive was the ability of the students to answer some tricky questions from the floor on these.

 In addition, other students each had to produce a poster that summarised the findings of recent individual research papers from the scientific literature that they found of personal interest and answer any questions the delegates had on these.

The meeting was well attended, with over 100 delegates, including students from the university and nearby colleges, staff from relevant departments at Newcastle University, and other interested parties from the local farm and veterinary community. Dr Stephen Wickens, UFAW’s Development Officer, also attended and enjoyed talking to the student’s about their posters, commending them all on their hard work and organisation.

Some of the 3rd year BSc Animal Science and Agriculture students involved in the annual Animal Science conference the conference at Newcastle University.

UFAW was happy to support an ‘Animal Health’ conference organised by the 3rd year students from the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University.

The Digital Dermatitis group answering questions from delegatesHeld in November 2012, the meeting attracted 75 delegates comprising staff and students from Newcastle and other invited FE colleges in the North East including Askam Bryan College (York) and Northumberland College (Kirkley Hall, Northumberland). The conference featured a mix of talks from the students, on equine influenza, red poultry mites and digital dermatitis, and invited speakers.

The UFAW Links at Bristol, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow universities have joined forces and agreed to use some of their link monies to support an away ‘Walk and Talk’ weekend for their post-graduate students. During this weekend they will present their animal welfare work to their peers and discuss issues arising from it, get to know each other better and develop new contacts and collaborations. UFAW was happy to support this initiative because a trial last year, organised by the University of Bristol, had proved to be very successful and resulted in a fruitful exchange of ideas and techniques.

UFAW Link monies are also being used to support an Animal Health student conference run by the Agriculture Department for their third years students.