17 Nov. 2015
CAW member helps solve case of badger found dead in trap
The University's forensic entomologist Dr Amoret Whitaker (photo) was recently approached by a member of the PAW (Partners in Animal Welfare) Forensic Working Group, when a badger was found dead in a trap in Scotland. The SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) decided to investigate the case, as they suspected that a crime may have been committed. Forensic Entomology is generally used to establish neglect or minimum time since death of a person, but the same principles may be applied to cases involving animals.
Dr Whitaker is an expert on blowflies and at the post-mortem of the badger, blowfly eggs and small larvae were recovered from the body and preserved as evidence. "The rate of insect development is highly dependent upon temperature, so by analysing the ambient temperatures and identifying the species of blowfly eggs and larvae recovered from the badger, it was possible to estimate the minimum time since blowflies would have laid eggs on the body", explained Dr Whitaker. Although it is not illegal to set the type of trap the badger was found in, by law the trap must be checked every 24 hours. "The conclusion was that the eggs had indeed been laid at least 24 hours prior to the body of the badger being found. The SSPCA was therefore able to bring charges against the person who laid the trap, and he was duly prosecuted and fined." Find out more about the badger snaring story.
Dr Amoret Whitaker is Lecturer in Forensic Studies and a Scientific Associate and Forensic Consultant with the Natural History Museum. Find out more about Dr Amoret Whitaker.
29 Oct. 2015
At this year's Graduation ceremony on 21 Oct. 2015, we were delighted to be able to confer honorary awards on two champions of animal welfare: Jocye D’Silva, Ambassador to Compassion in World Farming, and Kevin Spurgeon, of Dignity Pet Crematorium. Their encomiums are available at the Centre for Animal Welfare blog. (Photo: Chancellor Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL, Jocye D’Silva and Vice-Chancellor Prof. Joy Carter; image Gaby Cooper.)
7 Oct. 2015
St Francis’ Day service for animals
On Sunday 4 October a small community of dogs and their human companions celebrated St Francis’ Day by the statue of St Francis on the University campus (photo left). St Francis was well known for his kindness to animals, and the ceremony honoured him and also provided an opportunity for our University Chaplain Revd Peter Waddell to bless the dogs in attendance (photo right).
"The dogs expressed their appreciation by joining the choir in singing (or barking) several hymns", said Centre for Animal Welfare Director Prof. Andrew Knight. "However, ‘Diversity’ is one of our key University values, and we delight in the diversity of all creation. This lovely event was enjoyed by all, and we hope to repeat it annually."
2 Sept. 2015
Centre for Animal Welfare enters partnership with animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming
In August, the University cemented its relationship with global farm animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming, (CIWF) when Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter and CIWF's Chief Executive Philip Lymbery (photo) signed an official agreement intended to strengthen existing academic bonds between the two institutions. This strategic partnership demonstrates the University’s long-term commitment to improving the lives of farm animals. In 2009, Winchester was the first UK University to receive the CIWF Good Chicken and Good Egg awards, in recognition of its commitment to offering free-range meat and eggs on campus. Find out more about this exciting partnership.
14 July 2015
Vote on relaxing of anti-hunting act postponed
CAW Director Professor Andrew Knight was one of the animal welfare experts who briefed MPs at Westminster on fox hunting in the light of the Commons vote on relaxing the hunting act, which was scheduled for Wednesday July 15th. The vote has now been shelved as a result of SNP pressure. Read the full BBC article.
28 Nov. 2015: Winchester Hunting Symposium
A one-day symposium on issues surrounding the controversial topic of hunting, co-hosted by the Centre for Animal Welfare and the Institute for Value Studies. A wide variety of speakers delivered presentaions and there was a video presentation by renowned primate expert and conservationist Dr Jane Goodall DBE.
15 Oct. 2015: The values of animal activism
What moves people to devote a great deal of their time to promoting animal welfare or animal rights? And what difference can they really hope to make in a world where they have to swim against the current? An event organised by the University's Institute for Value Studies, featuring a lecture by Jasmijn de Boo, Chief Executive of the Vegan Society, titled 'Promoting animal protection through education, public policy and campaigns' and a screening of Werner Herzog's haunting film Grizzly Man, about ill-fated bear-lover Timothy Treadwell. To find out more, visit the Facebook page.
Other animal welfare news*
* The University of Winchester does not accept responsibility for content on external websites.
27 Jan. 2016
Graduate Scholarship opportunity
The Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada, is calling for applications from potential graduate students for the 2016 Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Graduate Scholarship. The scholarship will support the training of researchers at the Master's or Doctoral level to pursue animal welfare research at the University of Prince Edward Island. Both applied and more fundamental approaches to research pertaining to animal welfare are welcome. Applications for 2016 will be accepted until 12pm (noon) (AST) Friday March 4, 2016, with decisions to be announced by the end of April. Students may take up their award at any time of the year but must do so within 12 months of the date of the letter of offer. Application and selection guidelines can be found HERE.
9 Nov. 2015
UK scientists to help China stop testing cosmetics on animals
British scientists have been training Chinese colleagues in techniques that could replace the use of animals in cosmetic safety tests, with a view to the Chinese authorities banning all animal testing for imported skin care and beauty products. Read the full Guardian article
30 Oct. 2015
EU votes to end Spanish bullfighting subsidies
On Wednesday, MEPs overwhelmingly approved an amendment to a budgetary report that EU money "should not be used for the financing of lethal bullfighting activities". Read the full www.thelocal.es article.
21 Oct. 2015
PhD opportunity in animal welfare
The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) invites applications for a Research Training Scholarship to enable a promising graduate to undertake a programme of scientific research in animal welfare leading to a degree at the doctoral level. Application deadline 20 Nov. 2015. Find out more.
15 Oct. 2015
Drugs research hampered by substandard animal testing procedures
Two extensive research projects have found that the majority of drug tests on animals use inadequate and ineffective procedures. Read the full Guardian article.
1 Oct. 2015
The Netherlands ban use of wild animals in circuses
The Netherlands have formally banned the use of wild animals in their circuses; the ban came into force on 15 Sept. Read the full Four Paws article.
6 Aug. 2015
Chimpanzees denied legal rights
In July, a State Supreme Court judge in Manhattan denied a request to free a pair of chimpanzees held at a state university on Long Island. Having carefully considered the case, which was watched closely by animal rights activists, Justice Barbara Jaffe concluded that being animals, Hercules and Leo could not have the same rights as humans. Read the full NY Times article
25 June 2015
Sacrificing animals in the name of science: just how effective is it?
In a recent article on Australian animal research in the Australian Saturday Paper, Prof. Knight argues that researchers using animal testing methods are greatly over-inflating claims about the possible benefits of their research in order to compete for funding. When this research is closely inspected, it is clear that the vast majority of basic animal research never produces any tangible benefits. Read the full Saturday Paper article
3 June 2015
Animals now formally recognised as 'sentient beings' in New Zealand
Last month, a change was made to New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, stating that animals, like humans, are 'sentient beings'. The Act stipulates that it is now necessary to 'recognise animals as sentient' and that owners must ‘attend properly to the welfare of those animals' (The Independent). Read the full Independent article