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SRUC survey asks for farmers’ views on animal welfare
This study aims to help form a clearer picture of what farmers and the public feel is most important to animal wellbeing.

Findings to help inform welfare research and policy

Researchers from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have launched a survey in order to assess what both livestock farmers and members of the public think makes farm animals happy.

According to SRUC, it is generally believed by the public that farm animals are happiest when allow to roam freely and exhibit their natural behaviours, however livestock farmers often place greater emphasis on maintaining the health of the animals.

This new investigation from SRUC’s Animal Behaviour and Welfare team aims to clarify just how divided opinions are on what is most important for animal welfare.

After surveying 800 members of the public, the team is now asking farmers to provide their views on how important health and natural behaviours are for the wellbeing of farm animals.

The survey has been funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS), and is open to all livestock farmers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Dr Belinda Vigors, a social scientist at SRUC, said: “We hope the findings will help us gain a better understanding of the value placed on different aspects of farm animal welfare and how potential trade-offs between animal health and natural behaviours are viewed by key stakeholders.

“Interest in this survey has already been expressed by those working in policy, so contributions from the livestock sector would be really valuable at this stage.”

To complete the survey, please visit the Happy and Healthy webpage. Results are due to be released by the end of the year.


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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for three months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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LOVE Gorgie Farm seeking veterinary volunteers

LOVE Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is looking for people with veterinary and animal care experience, who would be interested in volunteering to help care for its animals during these difficult times.

The community-owned charity farm opened to the public only last month, but decided to close temporarily amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its three-person team is working to care for the animals behind the scenes and the farm is now operating as a food bank for the public, delivering free breakfasts to local school children.

In an effort to build a contingency plan to secure the welfare of its animals, LOVE Gorgie Farm is looking for volunteers who would be able to step in if any team members fell sick or needed to self-isolate.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact