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Bristol’s animal welfare group ranked ‘best in the world’
"As societal concern for animal welfare grows, our work is increasingly valuable" - Professor Michael Mendi. 

Group at the ‘cutting age’ of animal behaviour and emotion

The Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group at Bristol University has been ranked ‘best in the world’ after a study found that its research is the most highly cited and widely published in the discipline of animal welfare.

The Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group has a long-standing history of producing research that not only furthers the understanding of animals but also improvements to their welfare. This includes work with the British Horseracing Authority to develop a welfare assessment protocol for racehorses in training.

Now, a study published by Friere and Nicol 2019 shows that the Group is leading the way in animal welfare research and has ranked the organisation ‘the most successful of its kind in the last 50 years’.

“The Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group currently has around 50 researchers working at the cutting edge of areas from animal emotion to practical welfare assessment across a range of species in companion, farm, laboratory and wild settings,” explains research group lead, Professor Michael Mendl.

“As societal concern for animal welfare grows, our work is increasingly valuable in helping individuals and policymakers deliver improved animal welfare in line with their values.

The Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group’s research spans the fundamental studies of behaviour, cognition, emotion and development and validation of animal welfare assessment methodologies. This is achieved through identifying and quantifying welfare problems and their causes in farm, laboratory, companion and working animals.

In addition to the Group’s work with the British Horseracing Authority, it is also developing a pioneering ‘cognitive bias’ approach to understanding how the level of optimism or pessimism shown by animals reflects their underlying welfare state. 

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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.