Sunday, May 31, 2020

Citizen science in lockdown

You can contribute to the growing evidence base around animal welfare, ethics and One Health by participating in some citizen science.

Its been a very big week in Vetland. As a veterinarian and a lecturer, much of the week has been spent debriefing over this week’s episode of SBS Insight, on veterinary care

I don’t know anyone who didn’t find it challenging viewing, for a plethora of reasons. The panelists and speakers were all very brave and generous for sharing their painful stories. The challenge with television is trying to cover a complex, nuanced, multi-factorial issue in the space of an hour. It felt like an exploratory surgery – a wound was created, opened and explored, but there wasn’t time to develop a therapeutic plan before it was closed.

Watching it certainly triggered some painful memories for me. If you have not seen it yet but plan to, I recommend viewing it with a friend (human or otherwise), and having a bit of time to do something renewing afterwards.

Meanwhile there are a plethora of opportunities to contribute to some meaningful citizen science. As anyone running an online survey is all too aware, the incidence of survey fatigue is growing. But its worth keeping in mind that responses contribute to the growing evidence base around animal health and welfare and the role of veterinary professionals.

So, if you find yourself with a bit of free time, grab a cup of tea and consider doing one or more of the following surveys (I’ve pasted the invitations below).

For veterinarians

The global role of the veterinary sector in COVID-19 pandemic responses 

Recent press reports indicate that veterinarians and others working in animal health have been assisting with responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The purpose of this short questionnaire is to document the role of the veterinary sector in COVID-19 responses worldwide. This information will be used to explore the roles and relationships that have been formed during this outbreak, to identify ways to sustain these relationships and build new ones, and to deal with future human, animal or One Health crises.  

Please take a few minutes (less than 10) to fill in the questionnaire and contribute to building stronger and more diverse relationships between people working in human and animal health. You can access the questionnaire using this link. The questionnaire is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Korean. It will soon be available in Mandarin. 
This project is a collaboration between the Veterinary Public Health Institute (VPHI) of the University of Bern (Switzerland), the European Network for EcoHealth and One Health (NEOH), the City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong SAR) and the University of Ilorin (Nigeria). 

This is an anonymous questionnaire. By submitting your answers you consent to the use of this data for scientific purposes. You can contact us via: luis.gomesdocarmo[at]  

Ethically challenging situations for veterinarians, veterinary nurses and animal health technicians due to the Covid-19 pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has raised additional and perhaps unforeseen ethically challenging situations (ECS) for those working in veterinary clinical settings. As part of my PhD study, I am conducting a survey to determine the frequency, stressfulness and nature of these ethical challenges.
The survey is open to veterinarians, animal health technicians and veterinary nurses around the world who are over the age of 18. It will take 15-20 minutes to complete.
To read the participant information statement and complete the survey, please copy and paste this link into your browser:

This is an anonymous survey. You are welcome to share the link with colleagues.
For further information about this study, contact Anne Fawcett: anne.fawcett[at]

For dog owners

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major changes to people’s lives across the globe. We do not know for sure how this stressful time might be impacting the welfare of pet dogs or what carryover effects it might have when dogs suddenly find themselves home alone down the road. While we obviously hope we will not experience anything similar again, this does give us a unique opportunity to examine the effects of major changes to routine on our canine companions. The Humane Rescue Alliance and the University of Lincoln, UK, are partnering together to understand how dogs are coping and continue to cope after the pandemic, and we invite you to participate via this link.

For residents of the UK or Australia 

Does animal quantity of life matter?

Help researchers at the University of Edinburgh better understand our attitudes towards animals and their quantity of life by participating in a short anonymous online survey.

To participate or for further details, copy and paste this link into your browser: