18 May 2011
Vets to take on international animal welfare
The University of Edinburgh
International animal welfare will be the focus of a
centre that aims to equip the next generation of vets to improve the
plight of animals across the world.
The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal
Welfare Education is to form an integral part of the University of
Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.
The £2 million Centre, which will be officially opened
tomorrow (Thurs, 19th May) by Mme Jeanne Marchig, will
collaborate with international partners to deliver wide ranging
educational initiatives catering for different audiences and cultures.
Education on animal welfare issues will also be
strengthened for students at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary
Studies to equip them to speak confidently about and engage with animal
It will also prepare them to work in different countries
and address different animal welfare concerns, ranging from the care of
working animals to that of wild animals in captivity.
The Centre will also become involved in the political
debate on animal welfare and protection issues. At all times, the
boundaries of what is currently legally acceptable will be constantly
challenged for the benefit of animals.
The centre will work to ensure that the needs of animals
matter and are acknowledged, addressed and met.
Professor Natalie Waran, Director of the Jeanne Marchig
International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, said: “Enhancing the
animal welfare science content and incorporating more opportunity for
ethical debate within veterinary education will give veterinary
graduates the skills, knowledge and confidence to contribute positively
to discussion on animal welfare issues We are living in an increasingly
globalised world and we need to empower veterinary students so that they
feel they can be informed animal ambassadors in both a national and
The Centre is already forging links with welfare and
veterinary organisations in China and India.
It will also run an international animal welfare seminar
series, working with partner organisations to improve animal welfare, as
well as looking at providing continuing professional development for
The Centre has been set up following a £2 million
donation from the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust.
Mme Jeanne Marchig said: “This is a very exciting
initiative in which animal welfare will play an integral role in
veterinary education. The world needs veterinarians who are not only
professionally competent but also compassionate with high ethical
values. Vets are at the core of safeguarding animal welfare and through
the Centre, they will be provided with the skills necessary to enable
their voices to be heard in order to ensure that animals across the
world are free from distress, suffering and hunger.”
The centre forms part of a £100 million development at
the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies’ Easter Bush Campus, which
includes a new £42 million teaching building.