The “Jeanne Marchig International Centre
for Animal Welfare Education” is Formally Opened
 

On the 19th May 2011 in front of almost a thousand invited guests, the “Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education” was formally opened. 

The Centre which will form an integral part of the University of Edinburgh’s new Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies will create a focal point for animal welfare education across the globe.  It will be a key resource of expertise for animal welfare education and will establish new veterinary courses, collaborating with international partners to improve the understanding of animal welfare issues.  The Centre will engage with politicians and governments with the aim of improving animal welfare and seeking alternatives to the use of animals in education and in all other areas of research.

The Centre will actively seek to make determined progress towards a situation where all animals are free from distress, suffering and hunger, are able to express their normal behaviours, are no longer misused and their rights as sentient beings respected; and to achieve far-reaching changes in people’s attitudes and knowledge through instruction and training at all levels.  The Centre will place animals and their welfare first and the boundaries of what is currently legally acceptable will be constantly challenged for the benefit of animals.

The exterior of the building housing the Jeanne Marchig
 International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.

Jeanne Marchig informs the gathered guests of the aims
of the Centre and her hopes for its future.

Just before cutting the ribbon that marked the Centre’s formal opening, Jeanne Marchig said:

“I am delighted to be here today to formally open this ‘International Centre for Animal Welfare Education’ which I am proud to have bear my name. 

This Centre which stands before us was previously in the ‘land of my dreams’.  Now thanks to the help and leadership of Professor Elaine Watson, the Dean of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies my emotion in seeing it become a reality today is considerable.

The animal kingdom has no voice of its own, only those who are prepared to speak up and fight on its behalf.  Twenty-five years ago when I established the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust in memory of my late husband, I decided to be one of those voices.  I was appalled at the abuse, suffering and cruelty being inflicted on animals throughout the world.  I questioned how it could be that people ignored this ongoing inhumane situation of creatures that are so essential to us?  Can any of us imagine a world without the animals?

Jeanne Marchig after cutting the ribbon to officially open the
Centre, accompanied by Professor Elaine Watson, the Dean of
the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh.

Jeanne Marchig with the Centre’s Director,
Professor Natalie Waran (right) and Heather Bacon,
Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager

Through its work under the stewardship of its Director, Professor Natalie Waran, I expect this Centre to become a pioneer in animal welfare education which in my opinion has been sadly and at times cruelly missing, a true worldwide Centre of excellence and champion of the animals.    It will strive to globally improve the quality of life for all animals through education, training and by influencing policy and law makers at the highest level.   The Centre will at all times seek to make determined efforts and progress towards a situation where all animals are free from distress, suffering and hunger and are no longer abused and misused.

The world needs veterinarians who are not only professionally competent but also compassionate with high ethical values.  Therefore, I cannot stress enough the importance of animal welfare in the training of individuals who are going to be spending their working lives treating and caring for animals and shaping legislation.

With this in mind, I say and indeed plead with the veterinary students who will study within this School  and will become the future veterinarians of this prestigious University: Abide at all times by the ‘Oath’ that you will take on graduation that your "Constant endeavour will be to ensure the welfare of animals”. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, today you are all welcome witnesses to a Centre which is embarking on an exciting and groundbreaking journey and which promises much for the animal kingdom on a global basis.  Its staff and other people’s actions will determine how many milestones “The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education” will erect for the animals along the way, for there is certainly much for it to do.  It carries my trust, my hopes and those of many others and I wish its endeavours every success.

So let the journey begin.  It is with the greatest of pleasure that I formally open “The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education”.  

20 May 2011

 

 
     

       
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