Saturday, March 7, 2015

Learn more about animal welfare and have your say

Buddy the kitten is a beneficiary of our current understanding of animal welfare. But what exactly is that and why does it matter?

Do we look after animals as well as we could? What is animal welfare and what can we do to ensure the wellbeing of companion animals?

Small Animal Talk promotes the welfare of companion animals and beyond that, the welfare of animals (including the human kind).

There are a few events coming up for those interesting in learning more about the issues.

On March 23, the Robert Dixon Animal Welfare Memorial Symposium will be hosted at the University of Sydney. The panel will be discussing why animal welfare matters in veterinary education. The event is free to attend but you do need to register first. Register here. Panellists include Prof Andrew Fisher, Dr Raf Freire, Dr Susan Hazel, Dr Jennifer Hood, Dr Janice Lloyd, Prof Kevin Stafford, Ms Joy Verrinder and myself.

Another important forum is the RSPCA’s annual Animal Welfare Seminar, which will be hosted at the Australian War Memorial (Canberra) from 9am-3.30pm.

Animal welfare is, and always has been, core business for the RSPCA. But how much does ensuring the welfare of animals actually matter in today’s society and our human-centred day-to-day lives? You don’t need to be an ‘activist’ or a ‘radical’ to regard animal welfare as a priority issue, nor does this have to mean that animal use should be abandoned altogether.
This year’s RSPCA Australia Animal Welfare Seminar brings together leaders in business, science, education, government and the not-for-profit sectors to share their stories of how and why animal welfare matters to them, their organisations and the people they connect and work with.
You can find out more about the program and register here.

These events are always educational, edge-of-your-seat topical (there are usually fairly robust disagreements) and attendance is a chance to network with others in the field. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to attend either, so please come along.