The 2018 AWF Discussion Forum

The 2018 AWF Discussion Forum sessions covered a large range of topics and gave delegates an opportunity to learn from experts, share ideas and enjoy the company of influential and respected members of the veterinary profession and the field of animal welfare.

Sessions included:

  • Is insurance compromising quality of life?
  • Influencing human behaviour for better welfare
  • How practice management strategies can benefit animal welfare
  • BVA, Brexit and Animal Welfare
  • AWF funded research updates

Watch the talks now on our Youtube channel.

Thank you to our Sponsors

We wouldn’t be able to run the Discussion Forum without the help of our sponsors. We’re really grateful to the following organisations for their continued support and dedication to improving animal welfare.



Agria has been insuring pets since 1890 and is one of the world's largest animal insurers offering lifetime pet health solutions. We promote the health and welfare of animals and work with vets, breeders and rehoming organisations as well as many animal welfare associations, helping to make a positive difference to pets and their owners.



NewMetrica develops robust instruments to measure animal pain and health – related quality of life using best practice in human healthcare measurement. A novel approach lays the foundation for a shift in veterinary care and animal welfare more generally from the avoidance of poor quality of life to the attainment of good or excellent quality of life.

The Webinar Vet

The Webinar Vet

The Webinar Vet are leaders in providing vets with veterinary CPD. Thanks to them all our sessions will be filmed and available for public access ensuring our work on animal welfare spreads as wide as possible.

Simplyhealth Professionals

Simplyhealth Professionals

Simplyhealth Professionals work with veterinary practices and their clients to improve pet heath, compliance and client loyalty. We provide vets with their own monthly payment plans for preventative care, supporting them with many unique and comprehensive services that are tailored to each practice. Our key focus is to support veterinary practices in educating their clients through increased engagement resulting in healthier pets and more responsible pet ownership. Our Pet Health Plans offer the ability for pet owners to budget for their preventative needs along with securing the practice a regular income to build and secure their future.

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  1. Eddie Clutton on the topic of overtreatment

    We’ve been speaking to Eddie Clutton, who is speaking in our Innovation and Overtreatment session at this year’s Discussion Forum. Eddie Clutton is an expert in the field of veterinary anaesthesia and will be debating the motion “Uncontrolled treatment innovations are detrimental to welfare” with Karen Humm. Eddie sees overtreatment as a huge problem, which […]
  2. Project in a pandemic: what an AWF student grant taught me about research

    The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, both personally and professionally. Normal routines had to be adapted, and pre-pandemic plans changed. For our 2020 student grant recipients, this was especially true. In this blog, Kerry Long talks us through her experience of carrying out her project ‘Identifying maternal and post-natal effects on […]
  3. Meet the speakers – Q&A with Jimmy Turnbull

    As the drive for cheap, efficient and environment-sparing livestock agriculture continues to grow, can intensive farming ever be good for both welfare and sustainability? That is just one of the questions we will be asking ourselves at this year’s Discussion Forum. Recently we spoke to Professor Jimmy Turnbull, vet, aquaculture specialist and Discussion Forum speaker, […]
  4. Funding research for better welfare

    AWF funds five new research projects designed to move the dial on key animal welfare issues.
  5. BVNA ‘This is Us 2020’

    Calling vet nurses! We are thrilled to announce that AWF will be hosting a debate as part of BVNA’s ‘This is Us 2020’, a two-day online event dedicated to celebrating veterinary nursing. AWF has previously held animal welfare debates at BVNA Fringe and we welcome the opportunity to continue having these important discussions, but with […]
  6. Completing research in a pandemic – a student’s experience

    Funding student research is an important part of what we do, giving students an insight into the world of research and the opportunity to make a practical difference to animal welfare. In 2019 we granted funding to Sheryl Bradley, an MSc student of International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law at the University of Edinburgh, for […]
  7. Meet the speakers – Q&A with Dan Brockman

    At this year’s Discussion Forum we will be debating whether uncontrolled treatment innovations are detrimental to animal welfare. As the range of treatments available to our pets becomes more extensive year on year and often increasingly invasive, we want to ask, can this ever be justified? One of our speakers is Professor Dan Brockman, Director of […]
  8. Meet the speakers – Q&A with Mike Appleby

    For this year’s AWF Discussion Forum, taking place on Monday 8th June, we have invited a number of farm welfare experts to debate and discuss whether intensive farming can be good for welfare and sustainability. We caught up with Discussion Forum speaker Mike Appleby, a specialist in behaviour, husbandry and welfare of farm animals, to […]
  9. Despite extensive knowledge, cattle vets are still failing lame cows

    Cattle lameness is still a prevalent issue despite a perceived extensive knowledge base. The need for an open, honest dialogue amongst the veterinary profession on what needs to be done next was why AWF agreed to host a debate on the subject at this year’s BCVA Congress. The motion, ‘Despite extensive scientific knowledge, cattle vets […]
  10. Cattle vets are still failing lame cows – Post debate Q&A with speakers

    What is your interest/experience in the subject? Nick: I have been active as a lameness researcher and veterinary advisor for over 17 years, and with an interest in lameness since before I qualified over 20 years ago. Sara: I already had an interest in cattle lameness when I graduated as a vet nearly 15 years […]