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University LINKs Scheme

University of Nottingham (UK)

Dr Lisa Yon

Dr Lisa Yon
School of Veterinary Medicine & Science
Email: lisa.yon@nottingham.ac.uk




UFAW Animal Welfare Seminar Series at the University of Nottingham

Through the LINK scheme, UFAW supports the activities of the Nottingham Animal Behaviour and Welfare Study Group and their promotion of the study and discussion of animal behaviour and welfare at the university, both within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and School of Biosciences, and beyond.

In May, the group set up a booth on ‘Animal Welfare Myth Busters’ as part of a university wide Mayfest public outreach day. Dr Lisa Yon (Nottingham LINK) reports:

“We had a number of volunteers and contributors to the booth activities, and a range of interactive and informational activities. Activities ranged from a ‘dog food weighing game’ to try and measure out how much food you think you should feed different dogs (example from small to large breeds, young to older, active to inactive), to a demonstration of UV lighting for reptiles and birds (and how much UV is blocked by glass, like you find in many vivaria), and comparison photos of different habitats/housing for exotic pets – guessing which ones are good or bad, and why.  We also gave out a range of information sheets on toxic substances for cats, for dogs, for birds, and for rabbits, and a care sheet for bearded dragons.  The booth was well attended, and a number of people comments on how much they enjoyed and learned from the booth.”

Well done to all the students involved.



The UFAW link programme at the University of Nottingham began in 2013, in connection with the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Study Group, founded by (then post-graduate students) Dr’s Giuliana Miguel-Pacheco and Naomi Harvey, and later assisted by Chantelle Whelan, and guided originally by UFAW link Dr. Lucy Asher.  From the beginning the group has been extremely active in promoting the study and discussion of animal behaviour and welfare at the University, within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and School of Biosciences, across the University, and beyond.  Over the  past year, post-graduate student Charlotte James, post-doctoral scientist Dr. Naomi Harvey, and UFAW Link Dr. Lisa Yon, continued this vibrant and diverse seminar series, with speakers on topics ranging from welfare assessment of laboratory macaques, to effects of urbanisation on the peregrine falcon, to methods of addressing the welfare of animals in other countries.  This year, thanks to the work of Charlotte James, we created a Facebook page, which we are using to update our colleagues on relevant events and activities relating to animal behaviour and welfare (see www.facebook.com/UoNabaw/).    We have also updated our group logo.

We would like to thank UFAW, and this year’s speakers, who included Dr. Rebecca Sommerville from The Brooke, Dr. Colline Poirier from Newcastle University, Laura Tennant from University of Nottingham, and Esther Kettel from Nottingham Trent University, who shared their very thought-provoking work with us, and stimulated some very interesting and relevant discussions on a range of topics relating to animal behaviour and welfare in various settings.  We look forward to continuing this exciting programme again this coming academic year.


Animal Behaviour and Welfare study group

Nottingham speakersThanks to UFAW Link scheme, the ABAW study group at Nottingham University has been able to invite external speakers and promote research and interest on animal welfare topics.

Since its conception the ABAW study group has focused on promoting the study and interest of animal behaviour and welfare among staff and students through monthly newsletters, journal clubs and a seminar series. Along with support from the UFAW Link (Dr Lucy Asher), the smooth running of the study group is ensured by three postgraduate students (Naomi Harvey, Giuliana Miguel-Pacheco and Chantelle Whelan, see photo). Topics for seminars and journal club are wide; ranging from pain to human-animal interactions and from lab to companion animals. Among the external speakers the group invited in 2013 were Dr Matt Leach from Newcastle University and Dr Sarah Ellis from Lincoln University. Internal speakers include Dr Mandy Roshier, Dr Sandra Corr and Dr Peter Voigt.

Some of our speakers have said:

Dr Sarah Ellis: "I was delighted to be invited to speak at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham by the Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare group. We had a super turn out and it was fantastic to see so many students evidently passionate about improving animal welfare"

Dr Mandy Roshier: “I was delighted to contribute with my talk to the Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Study Group. The group co-ordinators, Giuliana, Naomi and Chantelle; take very good care of the speakers and do an excellent job promoting talks. During talks, they facilitate excellent discussion with speakers and the audience; this really helps make the most of these meetings.  In addition, they keep up interest between talks through regular newsletters and reading groups. Involvement with the group includes undergraduates, postgraduates and staff, a useful range of experiences and perspectives. The group created an excellent programme in 2013, greatly assisted by the funding provided by UFAW. I’m very much looking forward to what the group have in store for 2014!

Dr Matt Leach: “Having the opportunity to visit Nottingham Vet School to give a presentation on my research into developing better ways to assess pain in animals was both very interesting and enjoyable. It gave me the opportunity to discuss pain assessment in animals with the numerous students, researchers and veterinarians that attended. It also gave me a really valuable opportunity to discuss animal welfare research with the animal welfare researchers at the university. I would like to thank UFAW for providing the money for the group to invite speakers to give seminars as I think that this is a very valuable activity”.

After a successful first year in existence we hope the group will continue to flourish, to support each other, and provide opportunities for those interested to learn about and discuss anim al behaviour and welfare