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New tool to monitor wellbeing of captive elephants
The tool is helping zookeepers to monitor the impact of changes in animal husbandry.

Method already in use at captive elephant facilities across the UK

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have developed a tool to help zookeepers monitor the wellbeing of elephants in their care.

The Elephant Behavioural Welfare Assessment tool is the culmination of research published in PLOS ONE and allows keepers to track the welfare of individual elephants based on their demeanour and welfare.

The tool is already in use at captive elephant facilities across the UK, helping keepers to monitor the impact of changes in animal husbandry and develop facilities that are designed to enhance animal welfare.

Zoo and wildlife medicine lecturer Dr Lisa Yon, who led the research, said: “Our new tool provides, for the first time, a reliable way for people looking after captive elephants to use the elephants’ behaviours to monitor their welfare over time.”

The tool is to be completed by the keeper and consists of four one-minute live observational assessments, daytime behaviour questions and nighttime observations.

It was initially tested at five elephant holding facilities in the UK on a total of 29 elephants - representing alomst half of the total UK captive population at the time.

Based on the testing results, the finalised Elephant Behavioural Welfare Assessment tool was developed and is now included in the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice Guidelines as a routine part of the welfare assessment of captive elephants across the UK.

Researchers suggest that a similar method could also be employed for other species in zoos and aquariums.

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Cats Protection launches Christmas animation

News Story 1
 Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty’s owner, Amy Smith, said: “Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her.” 

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WSAVA launches certificate programme focusing on companion animals in One Health

The first certificate programme focusing specifically on the role of companion animals in One Health has been launched by the One Health Committee (OHC) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

The online programme, which is free of charge for WSAVA members, has been developed in recognition of the growing impact of companion animals in human society. Pet ownership is becoming more popular globally, and this has increased the implications for One Health, regarding the human-companion animal bond. The WSAVA OHC hopes that this course will bridge the knowledge gap between veterinary surgeons and human physicians. New modules are being added weekly, with a total of 20 modules expected to be available by early 2020.